A Whiny, Attention-Starved Puppy

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Do you have a dog that just can’t stand to be away from you? A puppy that will just absolutely die if you stop petting her? I do.

After some research, I’ve resolved to teach my puppy Olive that she cannot whine to get attention. For whiny dogs, we need to help them build confidence in themselves and their ability to be without you.

Here are some tactics I’ve been employing to help her our of this bad habit and build some confidence. Say it with me, whiny-puppy parents!

  • I will ignore them when they whine (though you should eliminate other possible reasons like hunger or pain)
  • I will tell him or her to get down when they jump on me to beg
  • I will only give my dog affection when he or she is  being submissive, after he or she follows a command and when he or she is not whining (They have to earn it, and I’ve found that they love having this “task”)
  • I will teach my dog to be okay without me in the room. (Have them sit and stay in one room while you hang out in the next. Close doors to your rooms and maybe even let them stay in their cage or kennel for 15 minutes while you’re still around the house.)

I blame myself for Olive’s neediness. It is extremely hard to ignore her when she’s begging and whining. She’s so cute, and I know she loves me so much and always wants to be with her doggy mom! I feel like this will be a good lesson in parenting later on down the line. She needs to know that it’s okay to be without me and my affection!

What are your experiences with your over-attached, attention-starved pup?

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A Running List of Destruction

Olive and Hitch are very good dogs. We adopted Hitch when he was four, and it was clear he had already been house-trained. He knew to go to the door when he had to pee, he never chewed up furniture, and slept where we wanted him to. (Though he does occasionally sneak up onto the couch or our bed when we’re not around.) He’s so good, that he’s free to roam the house and doesn’t have a crate.

Olive is getting there. We got her when she was 4 months old, so we dealt with the typical puppy terrors. Chewed up furniture (the reason why she is banned from her “grandpa’s” house now), pee and poo on the floor galore, chewed up mail, cords, you name it. Since she’s grown, she’s gotten much better. We still need to crate her when we’re out for longer than half an hour, but that’s a huge improvement from crating her every single night.

Still though, we never let them forget the few things they have destroyed or stolen from us, and we keep a running list so when they’re being particularly bad, we can point and guilt them by reminding them of “that one time [you] were so bad!]

List of things Hitch has destroyed or stolen:

  • Pizza on two separate occasions (one when we had a guest over – as SOON as we opened the box!)
  • Bacon
  • An entire sandwich, which was his human dad’s lunch for the day
  • Occasionally, he’ll take a piece of mail out of the trash can, but he never rips it up?
  • He also likes to relocate fuzzy slippers. Not chew them, just move them to a different room
  • Put a sock in front of his face and he WILL steal it

It’s funny when you list these things out, you can really see what their preferences are. Hitch obviously really loves human food, fuzzy things, and is a little… neurotic. He is the ultimate opportunist as well. Hitch will strike while you’re still in the room with him, as soon as you turn your back.

List of things Olive has destroyed or stolen:

  • Her human dad’s glasses
  • An exercise jump rope
  • A PS4 controller that we were borrowing (she did this while Tom Clancy’s “The Division” was on and somehow created a character that looks like Drake)
  • Our coffee table leg
  • Wall paneling
  • Every single dog toy to smithereens in just a day

I think what we can gather here is that Olive has expensive taste, and really loves making us pay for things. It’s always a very high anxiety situation to follow a trail of mysterious chewed up pieces, hoping to a higher power that it’s not something expensive. (Hint: it usually is.) Olive waits until you’re sleeping or not around. That’s when she strikes. She knows better when you’re in the room and can see her, but this mischievous little stink has no problem once the pack leaders are out of sight!

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See this? I wasn’t kidding. She served a little jail time for that one. (Too bad she loves being there.)

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