Attention demands in mature dog

Posted by lebateauivre
Mar 27, 2011
My 7 year old dog is suddenly demanding attention when my husband and I talk or sit down for a meal. It starts with small noises and quickly escalates into barking, twirling, out of control behavior. My only resort has been to escort him to his kennel where he quiets down. If I let him out the barking continues at the door. I have tried to divert him with a sit or settle or go to your place command, but nothing is working. It seemed to start when my husband was gone on a trip and returned to take his place in the household. But he has travelled before an we didn't experience this. I miss having my dog with us but can't let the behavior continue. He used to respond very well to "out" and go and lie down more.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Mar 29, 2011
Hi lebateauivre,

When your dog first started making noises when you and your husband were engaging in a conversation, what did you do? Did you give him any kind of attention even by looking at him, telling him to be quiet, or asking him to sit, etc.?

The best way is to ignore him totally. If he keeping bothering you guys, just grab his collar without talking to him and put him in a different room, or you and your husband move to another room as you ignore him. Act as is you are not even seeing him. This will give him a time-out effect. By repeating this, he will soon learn that he has to be quiet and calm down in order to be included in the pack.

So basically what you have been doing is fine, it will only take more time and patience of yours

However, make sure that he gets a lot of attention and activities once your meal or conversation is done. It might be a good idea to walk him before you and your husband anticipate a lengthy conversation or intense work such as tax return or planning a vacation trip, etc.

Good luck
Posted by KOPCaroline
Apr 3, 2011
Hey there, just a quick vote of agreement from me Usually dogs who behave this way have pent up energy or have been triggered to seek more attention because of being left (even if its a routine thing, sometimes they just react differently to it). Its always been best, from what I've seen and heard, to ignore the begging for attention behaviour. And as MHN says, leave the room or take the dog out of the room if the noisemaking and begging continues.

Make sure you stick to a routine with ignoring (do it every time, not just most of the time) and remember patience! You may feel like youre being mean about ignoring your loved companion, but its one of the few ways dogs learn (positive = getting attention, negative = being ignored).

Let us know how you get on, I think you'll see results soon enough