Do I Give My Dog Too Much Attention?
Do I Give My Dog Too Much Attention?
Dogs need companionship and attention, but many pet parents don't know how to provide a healthy amount. They may over-smother their dogs or leave them outside alone all day. Healthy attention should be given at appropriate times and during fun activities. Avoid yelling at your dog, which can make them anxious. Instead, try giving your dog a variety of toys and activities that will keep him entertained for long periods of time.
Dogs are social creatures and do not like being alone. Giving them your company all the time may lead to a dependence on you. Keeping your dog company during these times is a good way to demonstrate your love for them, but be wary of overdoing it. Too much attention can lead to behavior problems, including vocalizing for attention and damaging things in the house. If you are unsure of how much attention your dog needs, seek professional help.
Over-giving attention can lead to behavioral problems, a weakened bond between the dog and its owner, and can even pose a danger to others. While your dog's breed and genetic inheritance will determine his behavior, his environment and socialization will greatly influence it. Some breeds are more independent, while others are more attached. Regardless of breed, training and socialization will influence your dog's relationship with you.
When giving your dog attention, be sure to reward it. When your dog responds to your command, reward it by giving it a treat or rubbing his head behind his ear. Remember, dogs live for praise! Use this power to your advantage. A dog who responds to commands can be a happy, well-behaved pet. A dog that is content and cosseted with praise is a joy to have around.
The first step in treating attention-seeking behavior is to identify the underlying causes. Your dog might be overly-dependent, or simply need more attention than is appropriate. If he isn't getting the attention he needs, he may become frustrated and unhappy. It's a good idea to monitor how much time you spend together with him and try to identify any causes that contribute to this behavior.
Exercise is crucial for your dog's well-being. If you can, take him with you on hikes or other activities. This will give him a chance to think and track. Showing your dog plenty of love and attention never goes wrong, but it's important to do it in a way that fosters a bond.
Often, puppies and young dogs use mouthing as a way to get your attention. Unchecked, this behavior can continue into adulthood. Luckily, this type of behavior can be dealt with the same way you handle jumping and play behavior. Instead of focusing your attention on the mouthing behavior, turn away and cross your arms to redirect your attention to other areas of your dog's body.
When your dog seems bored, try giving him a cue to reward him. You can try holding out your hand in front of his face and wait for him to sniff your hand. If your dog responds to your hand, praise him or her or even feed a treat from your other hand. If the dog does not seem to respond, you might want to try other methods. You could even send him to a doggy daycare or get a dog walker while you're away.
If you notice that your dog is whining when you greet him, try redirecting his attention to its favorite toy. While it's cute to give attention to pushy dogs, it can send a wrong message about who's in charge. Try to take your time to train him to behave properly when you're greeting him.
Barking is another way to communicate with your dog. The more affection you show your dog, the less likely he will bark. It can also make him feel safe and secure, which can reduce the amount of attention-seeking barking. Likewise, pawing at you can indicate that your dog is anxious or needs some comfort. Do not let your dog become stressed by this type of behavior. Rather, let him know that you want to spend time with him.