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Attention Seeking Dog

Q: Attention Seeking Dog PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin pettalk@petplanet.co.uk Hiya, my name's jim
Our family has had a dog for 5 years.
She was from a protection of animals center
her history is unknown,I believe she was one when we got her.
Originally she was very hyperactive, she ripped up carpet, pooed in the house,did not come back, jumped, aggressive etc;
I'm sure you get the picture.
Over a number of years she improved with no housing wreaking, relative good behavior off the lead.
However she began to whimper when she didn't get her walk at AM in the morning.
This behavior then traveled to if she wasn't allowed in a room if we had guests and then to any situation were she did not get what she appeared to want.
Two years ago we had a son and since then the behavior has become more unmanageable.
Other behaviors have returned.
My partner has great difficulty controlling her whilst out, with my dog often not responding to commands anymore.
It would not be as difficult if we did not have a son but we do, and therefore wag the dog gets less attention. Our son is also interested in wag, and will want to play.
Wag has growled at our son a number of times.
anyhow the two main things are the growling at my son, and the whimpering and whining(can be very loud, and seems to touch a raw nerve within us both). Any suggestions at all of how to deal with this will be much appreciated.

A:Attention Seeking Dog PetPlanet Vets PPAdmin pettalk@petplanet.co.uk Dear Jim,

It sounds like you and Wag are having a tough time. She is obviously full of energy and wants lots of attention, which you unfortunately cannot give her at the moment. Dogs like Wag need mental and physical stimulation or they get bored and frustrated.

Many dogs end up in a Rescue home because of behavioural problems such as this,and it may even be why she was in the centre in the first place. You did well over the first few years to get her to settle a lot and behave herself. But the arrival of your son has not only turned your world upside-down (I'm sure!) but also hers. She is objecting to the new arrival, who is probably tottering around by now. She will not be sure what to make of him and is missing the attention she used to get before he usurped her place.
It is easier to understand if you look at it from her point of view.
She is not trying to drive you demented, but to get your attention and hopefully a walk or a play! It is not acceptable to have her growling at your son and your partner needs to try to reassert her authority over Wag.
Going through some basic obedience every day for 10 minutes would help, and make sure she is the one who feeds Wag.
But most of all, you need to find some way of giving Wag some more stimulation or she will continue to feel neglected. You obviously have your hands full, but maybe you know a dog lover who would walk her for you or come and play with her every day for a while? I know many busy people employ a Dog Walker nowadays, which can be a handy solution.
It would be worth speaking to an animal behaviourist (your Vet could put you in touch with a local one) who could give you more advice and a plan to follow.

Good luck,

Maeve Moorcroft MVB MRCVS
(PetPlanet Vet)

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