dog training to stop Attention Seeking Behaviors 3, 4 and 5

dog attention seeking behavior

dog attention seeking behavior

Previously we looked at TWO of the top five main Dog Attention-Seeking (or addictive) Habits

  1. Jumping up on you (or others)
  2. Barking or whining at you

Now we look at what the other 3 common habits are and how to solve them

  1. Pawing or nosing you
  2. Bringing something to play with to you and demanding instant attention all the time
  3. Rolling over to get their stomach rubbed

Pawing or nosing you is the way that your dog gets attention other than jumping on you or barking at you.

In some ways it is far more familiar and dominant than other ways. Some people find it cute, but when it is insistent and not welcome, when they do it people they don’t know, then you have a problem

Of course this is all centered on giving them attention. they will do it for:

  • Getting a pat
  • getting a treat
  • wanting to go to the park
  • wanting to go to the toilet

you will want to stop this because it will transfer to strangers and small children in the park which can injure them and get you and your dog into trouble.

Like stopping barking or jumping the best method is usually to use a distraction. Sometimes a “look over there’ can work, but that can break your dogs trust. It is better to have them sit, lie down or go into a more passive pose. THEN if you want to feed them a treat. Eventually like training for recall you can get them to do a behaviour without gaining a treat..

If the pawing is only to get a treat, then you may find you are not feeding them enough, not feeding them meat or not exercising them enough. A happy dog is an off lead exercised dog. They will be more calm and less likely to adopt OCD type behaviors.

Bringing something to play with to you and demanding you join in

Kind of irresistible, but annoying if the play never stops and you have to go to work or bed or are busy with work at home.

A dog taken for a big off lead dog walk rarely will bother you for many hours after that walk (unless they are a very fit endurance dog). Play is a fantastic bonding experience and you should have fun with your dog, but sometimes changing that from simple fun to finding a toy by scent and being rewarded or making the game a little more complex can make it rewarding for both of you.

A dog bringing you a toy means they like you and are not chewing on the furniture. They want to involve you and as long as you can regulate when they play with you and that they don’t start guarding their favorite toy, this behavior is not always something you should kill off.

Rolling over to get their stomach rubbed

I thought this was fun until I met a dog that was never walked, stayed in a smelly room, was rarely washed and would try and force me to pat and rub their belly ALL of the time. The owner said it was what the dog did, and they ignored it, so it forced itself on me. Not as much fun as you might think.

A belly rub, rapid licking of lips towards humans usually means submission exposing the most soft part of their body. Though with another dog it can be a way in play to gain advantage (using back legs in particular to kick an overly playful dog away.

This obsessive belly patting need is often more an issue of insecurity. There are more nerve endings in the neck and rump of a dog than on the belly. Take your dog to a dog park and see if it rolls over for all other dogs, it will soon learn that this isn’t winning behavior and may chose to stop it at home.

If not the main thing you have to do is get in a position where it can’t paw at you to belly rub it, don’t give in, and if need be isolate it. It will learn that this behavior doesn’t get it more affection, but the opposite.

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