Why do dogs whine and groan annoyingly
Dog demands too much attention: causes and 5 tips that will help
You shouldn't underestimate the intelligence of dogs. If the dog's grasp is insufficiently challenged, boredom develops - and the four-legged friend demands excessive attention in order to communicate this to you.
Bad training can also cause your dog to bark for attention all the time. Only clear rules help here - but your dog can only understand them if they are really "real" rules. That means they shouldn't be watered down by exceptions and inconsistencies.
If the dog is under-challenged or not well behaved, the pet can call for excessive attention. Here's what you can do about it:
1. Defend the beginnings through consistent upbringing
Dogs have a variety of ways to get your attention. The basis for unwanted behavior that is greedy for attention is laid in puppyhood. Then the bad manners of the four-legged friend don't bother so much and are actually very cute. Do you stroke your little bundle of fur in delight when it jumps up on you? Then later it will very likely jump up on all sorts of people to be petted.
The puppy begs and perseveres with his heartbreaking dog look at the dining table? If he actually gets a bite because of it, he'll keep trying. If your dog is allowed to tear up the previous day's newspaper for fun and is rewarded with attention, it may not stop at important files or homework books.
These are examples of dog training inconsistencies that result in your dog not knowing what he can and cannot do. And after all, he just does what gets him the most attention, that is, what is most worthwhile for him. It doesn't matter whether your reaction is friendly or angry. The main thing for the animals is that they are observed.
So that it doesn't even get that far, you should consistently enforce rules even with cute puppies and not allow any exceptions.
2. Find the causes: Why does the dog want attention all day?
Sometimes dogs just want to attract attention and the attention of their favorite human is reward enough for them. This is mostly due to the above mentioned educational errors. The behavior has taken on a life of its own. Nevertheless, it is advisable to pause for a moment and consider whether the dog might not have another reason to draw attention to itself.
Four-legged friends who feel under-challenged, are bored and are underutilized, often show destructive, undesirable behavior. This happens because they have nothing better to do and realize that by doing so they are causing a reaction on your part - which in turn breaks the boredom in the moment.
However, if your dog also appears very stressed and panicked, especially if you leave him alone, separation anxiety can also be behind it, which he wants to draw attention to. In addition, sick or injured animals try to hide their pain so that their suffering occasionally only manifests itself as a change in behavior or character. If you have any doubts as to whether your four-legged friend is really only asking for attention or if he wants to communicate something, go to the vet as a precaution and have him checked out.
3. Dog always wants attention: offer alternatives to undesirable behavior
If you teach your dog what he is not allowed to do, you should always offer him an alternative for desired behavior. Otherwise your four-legged friend will not know how to behave and will be insecure. Teaches him, for example, that he can gnaw on his chewing bone and romp around with his toys, but leave paper, shoes and furniture alone. Rewards him when he lies down in his basket to rest instead of jumping on the sofa.
4. Ignore undesirable behavior, reward good behavior
You can teach your dog the alternative behaviors by consistently ignoring bad behavior and rewarding good behavior. If your four-legged friend jumps up on you, turn away and ignore him, not even with a little sideways glance. As soon as your four-legged friend stands still with all four paws on the ground or sits down, caress and praise him. Maybe give him a treat too. He then receives attention for desirable behavior and is punished - through negative reinforcement - with disregarding it if he does not follow the rules.
Here it is important that you remain really consistent, always. If you give in even once, your dog will learn that he only has to be annoying long enough to get what he wants. As a result, his behavior can get even worse. If you don't trust yourself to enforce the rules so strictly on your own, get help from an experienced dog trainer or animal psychologist.
5. Employ the dog appropriately and avoid boredom
If you have trained your dog consistently and if he is very healthy, boredom is probably to blame for the fact that he is demanding attention. The only thing that helps is to employ him appropriately so that he doesn't get stupid thoughts.
For example, bring him a food or intelligence game, start a dog sport or teach him tricks. The activities should of course always be adapted to the nature, temperament, breed-typical characteristics and preferences of your dog and should not be too strenuous or too easy.
You might also be interested in these dog training topics:
How do you get a dog used to jumping?
Frustration tolerance and impulse control in the dog
This is how dogs wrap people around their paws: 4 “tricks”
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