It’s fairly common for dogs to want their owner’s attention, especially with puppies. However, if it carries on into adulthood, your dog may have a dependence on you that they should have grown out of.
When we refer to a dog “attention seeking” it can be as small as dropping an unwanted toy in your lap, jumping up and barking at you, or even stealing things to the point it turns into a very irritating (for you at least) chasing game.
There are multiple reasons that your pup may do this. Some dogs will do it just for the love of it, sometimes it can be down to a more specific reason. If attention seeking is something you’re struggling with, then read on to see if you can identify the reason for it.
Lack of Exercise
If you don’t exercise your dog as much as you’re supposed to, then your dog won’t be getting much stimulation. If you’re not walking your dog all too often or only for short amount of times and it craves your attention, then you may need to invest in longer walk times, or multiple shorter ones throughout the day.
This can be linked to any lack of exercise, but if you leave your home during the working day for a long period of time, then your dog is going to miss you. As soon as you get home they will burst with excitement after not seeing you all day.
While it’s not healthy to shoe your dog away after it’s been waiting to see you all day, it’s best to walk in and ignore your dog just until you’ve put your coat and bags away rather than going straight in. It’s also worth considering leaving toys out for your dog to keep it occupied during the day while you’re out.
Lack of Discipline
When your dog is a puppy, it’s important to teach them what is right from wrong while they’re young. If you reward any unwanted attention seeking behaviour to them at this stage then it may stick with them further down the line.
Obviously I don’t mean you need to scold your dog, that won’t achieve anything. However, using the unwanted toy example from earlier, reacting to this with affection comes across as rewarding. Instead you just have to say no. It’s hard, because puppies are cute, but they have to learn!
Have you had attention seeking behavioural issues with your dog that you have resolved? Let us know your stories and any tips you can offer in the comments below.
Image: Ceser’s Way