Giving Dogs Healthy Doses of Attention

In Shelley and Zoey, Shelley Widhalm on October 11, 2015 at 11:30 am

I'm at the coffee shop waiting for someone to stop by and say hi, so I get attention!

I’m at the coffee shop waiting for someone to stop by and say hi, so I get attention!

I need, require, deserve and desire attention.

My name is Zoey, and I’m the cutest dachshund in the www, or whole wide world. Here’s why.

Dog training books recommend dogs get daily attention through walks, exercise and play time. They need love and attention, as well as stimulation to keep their minds active and to be socialized.

If they don’t receive this attention, they can be harder to train and become disobedient and destructive. When left alone, they may chew on shoes and furniture, get into trash and mark beds and floors (puppies chew as part of the teething process, but adult dogs should have learned acceptable behaviors and identified the difference between the chewable and not so chewable options).

Seeking immediate attention, they may resort to jumping up, barking, whining, pawing and dropping a toy or ball into the lap. These behaviors are cute in a puppy, but adult dogs need to know about positive ways of seeking attention, such as sitting nicely or playing with their dog toys on their own.

Dogs need to have some independence, so don’t reward them if they’re continuously demanding your notice. Help them develop their own interests by giving them something new to chew.

Don’t reward them for poor behavior, such as barking or pawing at you, because the attention only temporarily stops their undesirable behavior. They’ve learned they can get a response out of you and will do it again.

As soon as they return to good behavior, reward them for that.

Finally, don’t leave a dog for more than eight hours a day. Then they’ll really have a reason to complain and bark and behave poorly.


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