As pet owners, we understand that our pets need lots of attention. But because many people work during during the day and often have other responsibilities when they come home at night, sometimes Fido doesn’t doesn’t get the attention he needs (or may want).
If you’ve ever wondered why your dog does some of the annoying things he does, like ripping up trash or jumping up on guests, it could be that he’s just looking for attention. But you spend time with him, take him out him out for walks and play with him any chance you get. That should be enough, right?
Depending on the size of the dog, breed and age, your dog might need more exercise than he’s actually getting. According to experts, most dogs are content with 30 minutes of exercise each day, but bigger pups like Pointers, Dalmations and German Shepherds need at least an hour or more to fulfill their daily requirement for physical activity.
When your pet’s gotten enough exercise, you’ll know it. He’ll be tired and lagging behind or frequently stopping during your walk. Without it, you might find your dog whining, howling, barking, scratching and stealing things.
But walking your dog isn’t the only way to ward off some of his attention-seeking behavior. Some dog trainers believe that even more then suffering from physical exercise, many dogs lack the proper mental stimulation. When dogs are being trained, oftentimes the amount of problem solving and engagement that it takes to learn a new trick can be even more tiring than the exercise itself. And studies suggest that consistently offering your dog new tricks, can enhance neuroplasticity and brain function keeping your his brain healthy.
Other things you can do to help your dog kick this habit is by ignoring the behavior all together. Any negative attention you give can also feed into his displays. Whenever your pet starts barking or whining for attention, don’t say anything. He might persist at first, but eventually, he’ll realize that his behavior isn’t being rewarded with your attention.
When he’s calmer and able to play independently, praise him hug him and remind him that good behavior goes a lot further than bad.