“OH GOD! I HAVE AN ATTENTION SEEKER AT HOME”
Attention seeking is a perfectly normal behaviour for pups because it’s a part of survival mechanism as they depend totally on their mums for care giving but in adult dogs jumping, pawing, barking and whining for attention can very quickly become annoying.
I am sure many at some point of time had to either make this statement or at least hear it from a friend that has dogs. One very common problem that I get regularly called for is “barking for attention”. One such house visit, I recall the dog just wouldn’t let me talk to the owner. Every time I would try and talk he would bark louder than me, right back at my face. I could see it was a funny game for the entire family they couldn’t stop giggling and somewhere the giggles stirred energies that the dog caught on and we had a waggy, happy, barky dog every time anyone opened their mouth to talk. From the dog’s point of view it was simple “You bark I bark” everyone laughs, WOW!! Great way to spend time but yes, it does get on your nerves after sometime.
Have you ever wondered why this behaviour continues?!? There is a bottomline to remember whether its dogs or humans, ANY BEHAVIOUR THAT IS REINFORCED INCREASES AND ANY BEHAVIOUR THAT IS IGNORED DECREASES. Unintentionally here the owners did reward the bark by laughing. Most people would negatively reinforce by scolding the dog!Any kind of barking for attention we have to remember to be patient with our dog and careful about what we pay attention to and what we choose to ignore.
My suggestion to the family was to run away quickly to another room and shut the door on your dog every time he barks at you. Do it consistently, ignore the barking behavior and bring it to an end.
Another case i remember was a Labrador named Simba. Simba is a very sweet and well behaved lab of 5 years. He is so overly attached to his male owner that he wanted to keep the owner looking at him alone all the time that they spent together. Oh, how i wish i had a video of how Simba behaved every time some one spoke to the owner. It blew my mind, It was hilarious!! He would dry hump the owner every time he took his eyes off him to speak to a guest. After laughing my lungs out i eventually did a small behaviour programme to sort out the issue.
Dogs chewing on furniture for attention, running away with articles for attention and even peeing, pooping or puking/ limping for attention. So my lovely people be mindful with your k9 companion.