It is no coincidence that the dog is considered the best friend of humans and has become one of the most popular and beloved companion animals in the world. The devotion, loyalty, affection, sensitivity and joy inherent in the way these furry men win any heart. However, when a dog becomes overly dependent or demanding on its guardians and family members, this emotional bond becomes unhealthy and begins to harm both the dog’s well-being and family life.
A dog demanding too much attention is not normal . An overly dependent dog cannot handle his loneliness or enjoy a positive social life, tends to suffer from depression or develop behavioral problems. However, dependency on your humans is not the only cause that can justify a dog demanding a lot of attention. Therefore, before starting any treatment, it is essential to know the cause that causes the dog to carry out this behavior. To help you, in this article from Animal Expert we talk about it and explain why your dog demands a lot of attention and what to do.
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- Is my dog very dependent on me?
- Why does my dog want so much attention?
- What to do if my dog demands a lot of attention?
- Hiperapego in dogs – Treatment
Is my dog very dependent on me?
A dependent dog is one that constantly demands the attention of guardians and family members, and can also have the same behavior with other people. It occurs when a hypertensive has developed in the animal towards one or more members of its family. This occurs, especially, in dogs that have been weaned prematurely and, therefore, have not been able to learn the basic codes of social behavior that mothers transmit. Likewise, it is usually common in dogs that have not received an adequate education or do not have a routine.
Dependency symptoms in dogs
Because each dog is a unique individual with a unique personality, we can find many symptoms that indicate that our dog suffers from this type of dependency. That is, to attract people’s attention and interest, each dog can perform various actions and gestures, including some behavior problems. So, to know if your dog is really very dependent and this is the justifying cause that constantly demands attention, you must learn to identify these signs.
It is not uncommon to see dependent dogs that cry or bark excessively (especially when they are alone), jump on people, bite or destroy clothing, objects and furniture at home, or experience separation anxiety . It is even possible for a dog in great need of attention to be aggressive towards other people and animals who approach their handlers. For all these reasons, the demand for excessive attention and possessive behavior should not be ignored or considered harmless in dogs. In addition to causing problems in the dog’s bond with the guardian, a highly dependent dog can become dangerous to all who live with it.
At this point, it is worth remembering that a dog’s behavior is not only determined by breed and genetic heritage, but also depends (and to a large extent) on the education and environment provided by each handler. Although there are more independent and close-knit dog breeds (which tend to be more possessive), the type of relationship a furry develops with his guardian and others will also be greatly influenced by the socialization, training, and routine each dog.
Why does my dog want so much attention?
If you have ruled out hyperteg but still consider that your dog wants to attract your attention at all times and you don’t understand why, you should know that there are several causes that may be behind this behavior. Before explaining them, let’s see what dogs do to get attention in order to guarantee that, indeed, this is what happens to yours:
- To bark
- Take toys
- Lick you
- Screw you up
- Scratch you
- Walk from one side to another
- Chase the tail
- Nibble on you
In addition, if your dog is very cuddly or more affectionate than normal, it can also be a way of trying to capture your attention to cover some type of need. In this way, whether your dog cries to get your attention, or if he barks to play with you or licks you, you can confirm that he wants you to listen to him and you must find out why.
Your dog demands attention for lack of affection
Without a doubt, the most logical reason is that your dog does not receive the affection it needs to be happy. To check this, you simply have to pay attention to the hours a day you spend spending time with your dog and ask yourself if you have played with it, have petted it at any time or have simply stayed by its side. Dogs are sociable animals that need a minimum of attention to stay balanced, so it is totally normal that they demand it if they do not have it.
In this way, in this case it is normal for your dog to demand a lot of attention.
Your dog wants to get your attention because he is bored
Sometimes it is not lack of affection that drives the dog to demand attention, but it is bored. This is especially the case in dogs with poor environmental enrichment . That is, if the dog does not have toys, does not receive the physical and mental stimulation it needs, or has any way of staying entertained at home, in all likelihood it will get bored and develop unwanted behaviors.
The solution in these cases is as simple as offering the animal adequate environmental enrichment and exercising it as it needs.
Your dog catches your attention because it is hungry or thirsty
Many times we do not realize that the food or water bowl is empty and it is the dog itself that warns us of it by means of barking, moaning or whining, mainly. Although at specific times it may be normal due to the lifestyle we lead, it is very important to avoid going to the extent that your dog demands attention to eat or drink water. If you have reached this point it is because you have been waiting a long time for your food.
Your dog demands attention out of jealousy
If you’ve just adopted a new animal, regardless of species and age, your dog is likely to be jealous if the presentation wasn’t right or you’re not managing the situation properly. Therefore, in these cases it is also normal to see the dog demand a lot of attention.
Your dog wants to get your attention because he is not feeling well
If you feel pain in any part of your body, have eaten something in a bad state, or suffer from any other health problem, it is normal to try to get your attention by whining, licking, walking from one side to the other, or even giving yourself small blows. To check if this is the reason, feel your body to identify any signs of pain in your dog . Also, look at his general behavior in case you see him trying to vomit or have diarrhea. In case of identifying any abnormality, go to the vet.
This can occur in dogs of any age, but it tends to be more common in older dogs. Also, older dogs often demand more attention than adults.
What to do if my dog demands a lot of attention?
Identifying the cause is the first thing you must do to treat it. As we have seen, there are many reasons behind this behavior and most are easy to solve, since they include offering the animal entertainment, mental and physical stimulation, affection, food and water, all of them basic needs.
Dogs are active and curious by nature, so they need to exercise and enjoy activities that keep them entertained on a daily basis. Thus, it is not enough to take 20-minute walks to relieve themselves on the street, they need to run, play with other dogs, explore, sniff and know new places. However, not only are there outdoor activities, intelligence games are also a good solution to keep them entertained at home, especially when they are left alone. Boredom and lack of activity can not only lead the dog to demand frequent attention, but can develop other problems such as obesity, destructiveness, anxiety, stress and frustration.
Apart from meeting the basic needs of a dog, if the problem lies in poor or inadequate education, it is essential to establish routines and resume training to carry it out in a positive, respectful and correct way.
Now, when it comes to a dog with dependency or hyperappeg, the solutions are different.
Hiperapego in dogs – Treatment
Before starting it is important to note that negative emotions are not reinforced . That is, if you have confirmed that your dog is very dependent, the last thing he needs is for you to react as soon as he demands attention, because in this way he interprets that with that action he gets what he wants and you do not solve the problem. What your dog needs is to learn to manage these emotions in a positive way. To do this, socializing with other dogs, animals, people and environments is one of the most important steps for him to learn to relate correctly.
As we said, it is not recommended that you pay attention to him until he shows a calm and calm attitude. Right now, you can reward him with caresses or words of encouragement. Likewise, working basic obedience also encourages this calm attitude that we seek in the dog, so asking to sit or lie down will help you.
On the other hand, promoting a calm environment in which the dog feels comfortable is more than recommended, as well as establishing healthy routines for him and covering all his needs. In this sense, the use of synthetic pheromones in a diffuser is a technique that favors the creation of a relaxed environment because it emits a copy of the pheromones that mothers transmit to their puppies.
As it is such a complicated situation, it is best to go to a canine ethologist or specialized behavior modification educator to evaluate the case and set the guidelines for action with you.