Once we have a canine friend in the house, we soon realize that there is a lot that we do not know about them, including how much attention do dogs need. It is difficult for us to understand if when they behave badly, they do it because we are not educating them properly or because they have a problem. We try to learn the basics but there is a lot that remains unknown when it comes to our furry companion.
Let’s discuss 8 signs that your dog is trying to get your attention. This is not an exhaustive list and there may be a number of other factors that come to your mind because whoever shares his life with a dog knows that life becomes a series of anecdotes! Let’s just say we are giving you a helping hand to better understand dog language! Read on!
1. They bark, sometimes a little too much!
It’s a fact, dogs bark, we all know that. However, the challenge is to recognize when it is a bark of joy, of welcome or of warning? Barking in dogs is an integral part of their way of communicating just as well within their own species or with others and with humans.
In order to be able to control our dog’s barking, it is essential that we understand why they are doing it. Dogs can bark for a variety of reasons, they can bark when someone walks by our door, when the phone rings, while working with livestock, or on strange occasions to get our attention. They can also bark excessively and inappropriately, this behavior being generally seen in adult dogs because puppies are limited to playing and learning.
2. How much attention do dogs need? They cry when they are not feeling well
Dogs, from their first baby steps, use different types of vocalization in order to communicate. When they are still babies they moan to warn their mothers that they are hungry or that they are cold. As the puppy grows we can observe 5 different types of sounds, scream, growl, moan, cry and bark.
All these sounds are just one way to get our attention. It will be very useful for us to learn to differentiate them in order to understand them a little better and properly meet their expectations. For example, a growl can have several meanings, in fact it is not the same growl when we are playing with him by pulling on his toy as when he growls at us if we touch his food. The latter is a signal that he may become more aggressive.
Puppies are crying to get our attention. What happens when we hear our little companion cry because we went to sleep and left alone in the dark. We get him to sleep in our bed! The little fellow has succeeded in his mission, not to sleep alone. We have to learn to read between the lines so that in the end it does not become a serious problem.
3. They bring us toys
This is not an uncommon situation and we don’t believe it has never happened to you! You are at home watching TV and your dog arrives with his favorite toy in his mouth. Evidently, when he wants to play with us it’s because he’s definitely in need of our affection and companionship.
What happens when the toy is a prey?
All dogs and cats have a strong hunting instinct, which runs deep in their genes. You will have observed more than once of a dog grabbing a toy and shaking it from side to side. This comes from his hunting instinct, he imitates wolves when they have caught their prey and they shake it in order to kill it. This behavior surely attracts our attention but we have to understand that he only responds to his hunting instinct. It is also important that we realize that he may be a predator.
4. Licking as proof of affection
One of the most recognized indication of how much attention do dogs need is when they are licking us. A dog’s tongue is one of its the most sensitive part of the body. For them, licking part of our body gives them a feeling of security and closeness. It is not uncommon to observe two dogs licking each other, as if they were kisses, but there are also dogs that never lick. This is not typical of any particular species because this type of behavior depends on the personality of our four-legged friend. Remember that there are several types of licking and they can have a number of different meanings.
Another thing that will attract our attention is when they will lick our sweat. This is explained by the fact that it contains butyric acid which has a pleasant flavor for our canine friends.
5. Give the paw
This one is a classic! Who hasn’t taught their dog to give the paw? This trick has a little hidden side in that it does not work all the time! But why is that??
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean our dog is a genius capable of learning on his own. It is a gesture that he uses in order to get our attention to make us understand that he wants something. It is a behavior that he has learned from his young age because when he sucks he has to press on his mother’s belly in order to obtain more milk.
6. Running from one end of the room to the other
This happens countless times in our dog’s life. They will do short runs when they are little and longer ones when they are adults. In many occasions, we do not play enough with our canine friend for lack of desire, time or energy. And when our dog runs in all directions he needs to burn excess energy he has built in his system that must be released.
7. They chase each other’s tails
This is clearly a sign that dog lacks attention from the master and it is in direct relation with the previous point. Dogs that chase their tails have excess energy that they need to burn. We can interpret this behavior as some sort of play but the real meaning is that our dog is bored and looking for something to entertain himself. When he sees his tail moving, he starts to chase it!
This behavior can also be related to a health condition. It can indicate the presence of internal or external parasites, inflammation of the anal gland, tumors, symptoms that should not be taken lightly and for which we should immediately consult our veterinary. We will see that in addition to chasing his own tail, our dog will tend to lick or bite himself in the area of his anal gland, when sitting or lying down.
8. They bite hands and objects
This is an almost innate behavior in our canine friend and a strong factor indicating how much attention do dogs need. When they hang around with brothers and sisters it is normal that they bite each other. It explains why a puppy bites everything he sees and it is normal for them to try to bite us when we play with them. However, you need to be aware that this is not just a game for him, it allows him to discover the power of his jaw. Of course, we should not hesitate to impose limits on our puppy to make him understand how far he can go without hurting us.