2.3.2 Attention seeking behaviors?

What are attention seeking behaviors?
Almost all dogs in the world display some type of attention-seeking behavior patterns, in some cases they are mild, or dog owners have learned to live with them, so they aren’t always thought of as problem behaviors. We usually fail to address them when they first start and we only start noticing them when the behavior has escalated into a problem to deal with.
They include:
  • Jumping
  • Barking for attention
  • Pawing us for attention
  • Play biting
  • Chewing furniture
Why do they happen?
  • Lack of physical activities
  • Boredom
  • Nervousness
  • Dogs learn eventually that a particular behavior brings some type of reward. Conditioned by owners when young or via inconsistent treatment.
  • Prevention
  • For established behaviors, determine the reason for the appearance of the attention seeking behavior and address it
  • Be consistent to ignore attention seeking behaviors
  • Reward dog immediately when he stops doing it or actively redirect the behavior
  • Do not correct your dog because it only produce conditional results so that the handler needs to rely on the corrections forever. In other words the dog didn’t actually learn anything about the unwanted behavior, he still practices the same bad behaviors until he is corrected, in which case he may stop out of fear, but only until the next time.
  • Specific environmental corrections may be effective (e.g. taste aversion) to make the behavior less rewarding but there are risks to that. It is easier to just manage the situation by prevention.