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Attention-Seeking Dogs Aren’t Being Naughty

attention-seeking dogs aren't being naughty

Attention-seeking dogs often resort to clever devices to get what they want.  Although we secretly admire their resourcefulness, dog parents like you and me believe it’s in our job description to resist attention-seeking. Why? Because we believe it’s naughty. So we’ll either ignore the dog or scold the dog.

Yet, as we know, trying to “make the dog stop” usually has the opposite effect!  That’s because resistance just adds another layer of friction between what we think we want and what we think the dog wants!   

Points of Friction

In the first video in this series, I covered some of the points of friction that we often experience with our dog companions.  Do any of these examples ring a bell?

  • The dog pulls on the leash and lunges after squirrels.
  • You can’t 100% count on your dog coming every time you call.
  • Unless you restrain him first, your dog greets people by jumping on them.
  • Inappropriate barking interrupts your peace and quiet and annoys other people.

Why do our dogs do those things?

What do they want?

How can we get them to listen to us?

The friction we feel in those situations usually comes down to our being uncertain about how to successfully manage the dog’s normal attention-seeking behavior. We worry that we’re allowing the dog to get away with naughty behavior. So we discourage attention-seeking.

Attention-Seeking Dogs Are Ready To Learn

The way to easily eliminate the friction is counterintuitive. Simply stop resisting normal attention-seeking and start using it. A dog looking for your attention is ready to learn from you! You already have the ability to use your dog’s willingness and bring out your dog’s best behavior. If you have an attention-seeking dog, then congratulations because you’re already 90% there!

The other 10%?  It’s just using what your dog is already doing now as a starting point instead of resisting it as an obstacle.

To put it another way, attention-seeking dogs are asking a question. Answer them by showing your dog a different way to get the attention he wants from you. And when you deliver your attention as affection, the magnetic power is irresistible!

Affection and the Human-Animal Bond

Attention in the form of affection is at the core of the human-animal bond. And every dog parent has the power to use the reciprocal flow of affection between humans and animals to build the exact behaviors we want.  

In the Part Two video below, I’ll show you how to accomplish a meaningful flow of attention as affection. Researchers in behavior analysis back up the simple method that I’ll show you with my own attention-seeking dog, Radar as my capable assistant.

attention-seeking dog Radar
Radar seeking attention.

Yet, what really matters is the actual response you see from your own dog.

I know it sounds kind of simple, even mundane.  I thought so at first, too. Until I tested this counterintuitive approach with actual clients and saw the incredible results they accomplished in a very short time! (Their stories are coming soon.)

Meanwhile, Radar and I invite you to watch the video to see for yourself. Start using the power you already have to transform attention-seeking into affection-receiving! 

Contact me with your comments and questions. marilyn@marilynmele.com

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