I have chosen this topic because as of late my doggies have become even more needy for attention. I evaluated how we interact to see if there is something in our relationship that is causing this issue. I can only think that I have been at home more than I used to and therefore they have come accustom to the increased interaction that we have. Now that I am getting out of the house more, the attention has dropped and that is causing an emotional response. I have begun to slowly get them back to the level of attention that I have given in the past based on my schedule.
As many of you know, rewarding needy behavior with love obviously is more detrimental to the dog. Dogs work best in a structure environment. This environment must include a management of attention. A dog trainer told me once that his dogs wait for him to tell them they are allowed to come and receive attention. Now I am not sure that this is the extreme that we need to go to as dog owners, but we must realize that needy behavior is detrimental to a dog’s mental and ultimately their health. Dogs that are constantly receiving attention expect to receive this attention 100% of the time. When they do not get, what they assume is the level of attention that is to be provided, they become nervous/anxious and that of course can have a negative impact on their health. I have asked a trainer to provide a brief example and a solution that we all can benefit from below.
What I want all of us to get from this blog is that we must provide love and attention to our dogs in a consistent way and avoid doodting over them. Remember that our lives change (demands at work, new relationships, increase in travel etc.) and these changes have a direct impact on your dog’s mental state. As loving owners we must realize that by providing them attention by our permission is the method in which the dogs can handle our lives and still feel loved.
Owner: Just Paws Training LLC
I work with many clients who have attention anxiety. One weekly story we see in our socialization puppy groups is a 3 year old yorkie who absolutely can NOT tolerate his Mom leaving for even the shortest time. Even if his Mom steps out to get a cup of coffee or grab some treats for her pup and he will go crazy, pacing, crying, panting etc...
What we have been doing is having her step out for 30 seconds then 1 minute then longer. This can teach the dog their owner will return and help desensitize them to the situation. We also try to recognize the triggers and cues which promote this behavior. If you cannot pay attention to your pup or do things differently each time you leave, that will promote needy behavior.
Another remedy we have been using is something called Rescue Remedy: http://www.rescueremedy.com. It is an over the counter product you get a natural food stores. The remedy is safe and easy to use for both animals and humans.
If owners work on this behavior with a positive and persistent approach dogs can learn to overcome this problem in time.
Thanks for reading and please comment or provide stories, because it helps us all.