Top Ten Training Tips: #3 Stop Attention Seeking Behavior

Gibbs with the ball

Is your dog an attention-seeker or demanding? While you may think it’s cute that your dog jumps up on you to go out and play, pestering you at inconvenient times is annoying and absolutely sends the wrong message to your dog. The reality is that whether you are trying to get some work done, make the evening meal, play with the kids, or watch your favorite TV show, this is YOUR time and not Fido’s.

When they jump or paw at us to gain our attention, or to tell us they are ready to play with the ball or stick or when they demand to go outside, they are under the misimpression that they are the pack leader.

Your job is to remind them that this is not so.

YOU are the pack leader… that means you must clearly demonstrate that all activities happen when YOU want them to happen and not when the dog wants them to happen.

Here’s the good news. If your dog wants something to happen which they enjoy, you now have a tool that you can use to remind them that when they do what YOU want, they will get what they desire most. YOU are the pack leader.

So for example, if your dog bugs you to play ball or tug on his rope, you should take the cue and use that as the reward for his obeying your commands. If you want him to sit, or to stay, or go to place, reward him using that ball or rope and verbally praise him.

Don’t allow him to tell you when its time to play, however. Instead, ignore him when he brings you the ball. Wait until he realizes you do not intend to react. After he has calmed down, THEN pick up the ball and tell them to sit or stay or come to you after which you can throw the ball as their reward.

As in all the training, you must be calm, assertive and patient. It will work if you take your time and respect the process.


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