Ignoring Your Dog Can Teach Good Manners

Keep in mind that when you start to ignore behavior, your dog will often get frustrated — after all, he's no longer being rewarded for doing what he has always done. His frustration results in what is called an “extinction burst,” where he will try the unwanted behavior with extra gusto in the hope that if he gives it a little more effort, his actions might still be rewarded. Dogs who bark for owner attention will often bark frantically, with extra-high intensity, volume and duration, when their owner starts ignoring them. As long as the owner is consistent about only paying attention to the dog when he is quiet, the dog will start to have longer periods of quiet and fewer bouts of barking until the attention-getting behavior fades out altogether.

Ignoring unacceptable behavior and rewarding good behavior with lots of attention is a foundational training tool for pet parents to use to decrease unwanted behavior and reinforce the good manners they want in their beloved pet.


Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!