will need for attention diminish with age?
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Thread: will need for attention diminish with age?

  1. #1
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    Question will need for attention diminish with age?

    my puppy is great, but he requires almost constant attention when i am home. will he become more independant as he gets older? its just that, i cant sit and watch some (any) tv or be on computer or eat or do anything, without him wanting to be involved or otherwise want attention. on top of feeding, potty, walking, training, this becomes a bit overwhelming. i miss my peaceful time lol.

    hes four months old approx. i got him a month ago from shelter and he has come a long way. hes potty trained, and knows many obediance commands. im not sure what mix he is. prob biggest training issue left is that he still does not like being confined at all. but he is improving albeit slowly in that regard.

    i have a web cam on him during the day, and all he does is sleep. i put a couple toys in there (crate + pen), but he wont touch them until i get home, then all he wants to do is play and eat. since he's in there at night plus during day when im at work, i keep him outside in the apartment when im home in evening. maybe if he was in a yard he would release more energy during the day, but theres not much i can do being in apt. i walk him about 1/2 hour in the morning and about 45 to and hour at night. doesnt seem to tire him in the least.

    perhaps its the living conditions? or perhaps its just his breed(s)? or his temperment? or his age? i like that he wants attention-that was actually one reason i picked him. hes ready at a moments notice without fail to play fetch or go on a walk. but i guess i wasnt counting on the neediness being the case every waking moment with him. is this a puppy thing? ive never had a dog before.

    thoughts?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member melgrj7's Avatar
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    Re: will need for attention diminish with age?

    He will probably get better with age. Teach him a calming cue, for my dogs its "all done". It bascially means go relax somewhere. I taught it to them by playing a game, I would get a toy and get them kind of riled up, then stop and stand up straight and put the toy behind my back. As soon as they started to calm down I would mark it (good!) and then reward (start playing again). Once they caught on really quickly to that I added the command (all done) to the behavior (calming down).

  4. #3
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    Re: will need for attention diminish with age?

    My puppy was like this when I first got him at 5 months. I could sit down for about 15 - 30 mins before he would start to bark at me or nip or poke at me. His former trainer suggested two different things, one of them being ignoring him. This didn't work at first but it may work with your puppy, just make sure you wait longer than a few minuets to see if he calms down. The other thing he suggested to me was to correct him instead, first by telling him no with a hand gesture, if that didn't work then a touch to his neck like the dog whisperer does with another no, and finally a dominance roll if he still kept it up. To wrap up the story, after a few days of proper dominance rolls he became more patient, needing only a hand signal or words to keep him quiet, and now he just sits and waits patiently if he wants something because he knows he gets what he needs if he's patient. Good luck with the puppy.

    P.S. dominance rolls can aggravate your dog, even hurt small ones if you don't do them right and hold the dog in the right places so ask a trainer first or read up on it.

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  6. #4
    Senior Member CalamityJane's Avatar
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    Re: will need for attention diminish with age?

    I know what you mean; I am home during the day, work from home, and most of the time I feel like I can't get anything done! We do crate him, whenever one of us can't totally supervise, as he still requires total supervision. And, he is a 5 month old puppy. He just doesn't know yet what is OK to chew on, what is dangerous to chew on, what is not dangerous but not permitted to chew on.

    And it's not just the supervision. He too wants my attention. I do know that what he wants and what he gets are not the same thing, and that's why we use the crate. I understand what you're saying though, about him being in it while you're gone, and then at night, and you feel bad if you don't let him out at night.

    I miss my quiet all-to-myself time in the evening too. This is my time to browse the internet, answer emails, etc. But, he won't be a puppy forever, and I try to remind myself of that, and to tell myself to enjoy it while it lasts.

    But, it is hard, and frustrating, and exhausting. Just like having a child, well, maybe not just like, but similar. Just has to be done.

    I've started making him a special evening treat, a kong filled with some of his kibble topped off with yogurt or peanut butter. I make it in the morning, stick it in the freezer. Then I resign myself to spending time with him in the early part of the evening; we walk or train, or play. We try to just let him be out in the living room with us, until it becomes a CONSTANT wanting-to-chew-on-the-wrong-thing. Then I'll take him out again for a few minutes, make sure he doesn't need to pee or poop, come back in and put him in his crate. Not as a punishment, but as "special treat time". This is usually around 8:30 or 9. Then, he stays in the crate for the remainder of the TV/internet time. Usually, he settles down, works on his kong, and then falls asleep.

    I have just accepted that for now, I don't get as much free evening time as I used to. Like I said, I know it won't last forever, it just feels that way sometims!

    Good Luck, and Congratulations on your first dog! I hope you enjoy him for years to come!
    Last edited by CalamityJane; 08-04-2008 at 08:40 AM.
    "and I, I took the road less traveled, and that has made all the difference"--Robert Frost

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  7. #5
    Senior Member klip's Avatar
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    Re: will need for attention diminish with age?

    It does get better. But its also important that you teach him good manners now while he is a little pup, as its very difficult to change some behaviors later in life.

    I would not try dominance rolls, I think they are a misunderstanding of how dogs communicate , but that is just my opinion. In any case its academic as there are much better ways to get the same message across.

    Dont let him demand your attention. Pet and play with him as much as you want, - melgrj7 posted excellent advice on this - but not in response to demands from him. If he pokes you or paws you while you are busy with something else, ignore him. If he makes it impossible for you to ignore him (nips, barks etc) put him gently out, or go to another room.

    I did not get the impression that he is a very nippy dog - bites you all the time - so I dont think you need to reprimand him for seeking your attention.

    Its usually good to replace a bad behavior with a good one. For example - if you want to watch TV with him in the room, instead of just "leave me alone", which is telling him what NOT to do, - teach him what you DO want him to do. For example, if he lies in a particular place (his bed for example) he will get a treat and a "good dog" every now and then.

    And it does get better!
    The best way to get someone to listen to you - is to listen to them.

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    Re: will need for attention diminish with age?

    thanks everyone i will give these a try..

    i have a unrelated question as well... about crating. i cant trick him any longer to go into crate/pen, he outsmarted that and its not worth the treat to him. i just carry him in and give him a treat once inside hoping someday he'll want the treat badly enough to go in.

    anyway, he seems to be pretty good if i put him in crate and leave the apartment, but when i put him there and i am still home and especially if he can see me, he still whines a lot and tries to dig/chew his way out. im surprised at how smart he is, he hasnt figured out thats a fruitless endeavor. it really seems very violent the way he acts. and quite a loud racket at night.

    ive never let him out when hes acting like this. i also always make him lie down before i open the door, hoping that he will get that good behavior = release. im not sure, its possible he was stray for a period of his life before i adopted him, and thus can not stand confinement.

    so what i am getting at, is there ways to actively correct this? soon as i walk close to him while in crate/pen, he behaves. i dont want to give him a treat so that he thinks his whining resulted in this. but if i go lie down on the couch, oh boy it starts up again. ideas for correction?

  9. #7
    Senior Member melgrj7's Avatar
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    Re: will need for attention diminish with age?

    Honestly just ignoring it is best. He will get it eventually. It usually gets really really bad right before they get the idea. Make sure he knows a marker word very well ("good!" "yes!" or a clicker, what ever). Go in the other room, the moment he is quiet mark it and then let him out, if he starts making any noise or digging movements while you are on your way to let him out, immediatly turn around and wait again. I worked with Lloyd all day long for a week before he was good in his crate. Literally all day long.

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