It started with her telling us that she has to go potty. This involves sitting directly in front of us and barking softly at first, and then getting gradually louder until we take her out. We encouraged this behavior because of our difficulties with housetraining. We were so happy that she was telling us when she needed to go out.
Then she started to display the same behavior when she wanted to play. She would get the desired toy out of her toy box (we sometimes would watch this beginning step with amusement…marveling at how she would comb through her toys one by one until she found the one she wanted) and then she’d place the toy at our feet. If we were in bed, she would place the toy in the bed. After that, she would sit and start barking until one of us, usually Bill, would throw the toy and play fetch with her.
When she wants something that is not an immediate need, like she wants to snuggle on the couch, or she has discovered a missing toy under the bed that she can’t quite reach, she won’t bark, just whine. She seems to know when barking is inappropriate.
This behavior makes she seem like a demanding brat, and maybe she is. Bill blames me for spoiling her. I blame him for playing tug-of-war and fetch with her whenever she wants, giving in to her when she barks at him. But we don’t really know if this behavior is bad, we just know it can be annoying to us. She is usually pretty good about not being a brat when company is over. Maybe it just means she has learned to adapt our behavior instead of us shaping hers.