Attention seeking dog

(24 Posts)
lookingforananswer Sun 10-Mar-19 17:41:02

Can anyone help please? We have a cocker spaniel who is 1.5 years old and is constantly looking for attention. DDog is walked twice a day and has lots of toys and other animals in the house for company. Me and DH mostly work from home and we are pestered ALL DAY LONG! it's getting annoying now tbh.

OP’s posts: |
TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Sun 10-Mar-19 17:44:40

How much is he actually played with?

Runkle Sun 10-Mar-19 17:47:15

Does he have his own space to chill out and calm down? Does he have treat dispensing toys to keep him occupied? What do you do when he pester?

BiteyShark Sun 10-Mar-19 17:47:28

I can sympathise as I have a cocker and work from home. I get the 'stare' followed by the chin on my lap and if I am really lucky the ball or his head on my keyboard.

I do find though that if I manage to ignore him long enough he will settle down and rest. Make sure you don't reward the attention seeking behaviour as it will never stop as they aren't daft.

adaline Sun 10-Mar-19 17:50:58

Apart from the walks, what do you actually give him to do? Do you give him frozen kongs, set up "find it" for him to do, or anything? He's still very young and cockers are a very active breed.

Obviously they need to learn to rest but working dogs need a lot of interaction.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Sun 10-Mar-19 17:58:34

How long is each walk? On or off lead?

lookingforananswer Sun 10-Mar-19 18:04:13

We play with DDog throughout the day, couple of times and play ball in the garden for 10 mins. Walks are mix of on and off lead for around 30-45 mins each. We really can't spend anymore time than this we do actually have to work very very busy jobs! This is getting ridiculous our own kids don't even get this much attention.

He has a very cosy crate where he can go for peace but is in and out constantly. Can just hear feet on the wooden floor ALL day. He comes in looks at us, sits and stares. We try to ignore and sometimes have to put baby gate across to limit.

OP’s posts: |


Bookworm4 Sun 10-Mar-19 18:06:18

He sounds bored, he needs mental stimulation, do you do any training with him? Not a lot of exercise for a young busy dog.

adaline Sun 10-Mar-19 18:07:58

I would lengthen the walks. That's not much for a 1.5yr old working cocker.

BiteyShark Sun 10-Mar-19 18:10:54

My cocker is 2.5 years old so older than yours but 1 walk a day is actually enough although it's around 1 hour off lead.

I tend to do 5-10 minutes of ball play or trick training every now and again throughout the day. He is also more likely to settle if he can lie next to me.

Be careful though not to keep playing with them as mine will do that all day and not settle then get really worked up at the end of the day because he needs to rest

BiteyShark Sun 10-Mar-19 18:12:22

Other things that cockers love is hunting. I put tiny piles of chopped carrot or treats around the house and get him to 'find them'. Doesn't last long but it is mentally tiring for him as he has to use his nose to locate them.

FATEdestiny Sun 10-Mar-19 18:22:11

I run with my cocker, rather than walk.

At about 18 months was when we started - have you ever thought about the Couch to 5K program? It's a great program run by the NHS that can teach pretty much anyone how to be able to run for 30 minutes

(I might add that I was 41yo and well into the obese BMI category at the time).

After completing C25K, you should be able to run for half an hour, rather than walk. It makes a big difference to my cocker spaniel's behaviour at other times.

I generally run for an hour now with my cocker, she's 3 1/2 years old. Then she'll largely spend the rest of her time (90%?) lying down asleep.

Floralnomad Sun 10-Mar-19 19:12:23

Perhaps he’s not bored or wanting attention but just wants to be near you . I have an 8 yo patterdale x and he generally spends his days wherever I am be it upstairs or down , in the loo etc .

OverFedStanley Sun 10-Mar-19 21:48:27

Drop the ball throwing - chasing causes a huge spike in adrenaline which is hard for active dogs to come down from.

Hiding a ball and asking the dog to sniff out the ball will knacker all dogs

Wolfiefan Sun 10-Mar-19 21:51:26

Brain games might be better than the garden ball games. Can you reward when your dog is calm and quiet maybe? We gave pup treats when she settled on her bed. It’s now her favourite place!! grin (she used to pace.)

drinkswineoutofamug Mon 11-Mar-19 11:46:13

Totally sympathise with you OP. I have a rescue dog 22 months old. She follows me everywhere. Cries at the loo door. The only place I have to myself is the bathroom as she hates the bath!
It's separation anxiety with her. If I have to go out and not take her she destroys the diner/kitchen. Rips up carpets and walls. She gets lots of exercise on/off lead and has mental toys to occupy her time. She has no interest in a Kong. It's a work in process, but been difficult trying to do my uni work with a dogs nose pressed up against your knee or jumps up onto the laptop.

lookingforananswer Tue 12-Mar-19 11:03:38

Thanks for your replies

OP’s posts: |
lookingforananswer Tue 12-Mar-19 11:08:08

Sorry pressed post by accident! We fo a lot of training and DDog gets a lot of attention. Sounds from what some of you are saying that everything we are doing is just not enough. We really can't physically do anymore. Like I said this dog gets more attention than our kids!! If a dog needs 24 hour attention then this is obviously something we can't and do not want to provide. At the end of the day it's a dog and we as a family have our own needs also. We work very very hard and can't justify anymore time for a dog. O really don't know how anyone manages to give a dog so much attention and how it can be justified. We as people and as a family have jobs to do, kids to look after, bills to pay. We can't and do not want to spend 24 hours a day pandering to the wants of a needy animal. It's just too much, thank you for helping me to see that.

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Tue 12-Mar-19 11:14:06

I don't think you need to give your dog 24/7 attention and I don't think anyone is saying that are they?

What I think people are trying to suggest is to think about they type of attention you are giving him. Think quality not quantity.

We both work full time in this household and today I haven't even taken the dog out for a walk due to the weather. What I have done is occasionally taken 10 minutes, which would be my natural break from work, and did some trick training and some scentwork training. This tires him out mentally that he is panting really hard at the end of it. Then he gets ignored as knows it's time to settle down for a bit. He gets some quality time with me but then I get time to work.

adaline Tue 12-Mar-19 11:22:42

Nobody said anything about 24/7 attention, but 1.5 is still quite young and they do need a fair bit of attention at this age.

If you have time for 10 minutes ball throwing, can you not swap this for training sessions instead? It's more mentally exhausting and won't get their adrenaline levels up in the same way chasing a ball will. I would try doing 10 minutes training 2-3 times a day, and then afterwards you can play something like "find it" and leave her to it.

My beagle is 13 months and our routine when I'm home is as follows. The other days he goes to daycare at 7.45am.

He gets up at 7am, gets let out to the toilet and has breakfast. Then he has to settle while we get ready for the day. At about 8, we go for a walk - normally about 90 minutes. That's his only walk for the day. He then gets a chew when we get home and he normally goes to sleep for the rest of the morning.

When he wakes up, he gets a toilet break and about 5-10 minutes training, then I largely ignore him for the afternoon. Sometimes he sleeps, sometimes he plays with his toys, sometimes he just sunbathes or wanders in the garden. Around 4pm or so we do another training session, and another around 6.30pm or so before he has his dinner. After dinner he gets another chew and again is largely ignored, but he tends to get on the sofa with us for a cuddle anyway.

On days where I skip the training for whatever reason, his behaviour soon deteriorates. Ten minutes a few times a day is only half an hour out of your schedule - you can just do it while you're waiting for the kettle to boil or the toaster to pop. It doesn't have to scheduled in but it is worth doing. Training things like a "wait" or a "settle" could be worth it as well as it helps them calm down overall in my experience.

drinkswineoutofamug Tue 12-Mar-19 11:51:04

Bad weather here, had a quick 10 minute walk with dog looking at me as if I'm a she devil. So I've hidden her favourite treat biscuits around the house for her to sniff out. Played some games. Now she's seen me with a brew she knows it's me time.
You don't have to give them 24/7 attention, rod for your own back. I'm a first time dog owner. Never planned to have a dog tbh , it's the internet, mumsnet and other dog walkers that have advised me on what to do! The dog has had to adapt to us after a life of mistreatment but she's gathered the ground rules , the rest is work in progress. You will find your feet.

FATEdestiny Tue 12-Mar-19 12:46:33

My dog gets a 1h run (I run, she runs on a waist belt with me) and that's largely it. She doesn't seek any more attention than to nap next to me for a bit if I'm sat on the sofa.

That's hardly 24h attention. But it's quality attention for 1h.

FATEdestiny Tue 12-Mar-19 12:48:35

Oh, and i have 4 young children. They obviously get more attention than the dog. As does my husband and me.

Your last post seems a tad over dramatic OP.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Wed 13-Mar-19 20:23:03

FATE I think you've just struck lucky there and got an extremely low maintenance dog. An hour running isn't really quality attention (that would be letting her stop and sniff, exploring, playing fetch etc). It's brilliant if what you're doing meets her needs, but it sounds like OP's dog is already getting way more quality attention than that.

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