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Constant attention (long post)

David R
October 25th, 2004, 03:06 PM
Hello. This is my first post as I start entering the world of pets.

My roommate got a dog after discussing his intentions with me. He got a beautiful yellow lab. He is about to turn 4 months old. We've had him for a couple months now and his name is Barkley.

I love Barkley with all of my heart. But he asks for CONSTANT attention. You can't sit and watch TV or try to read the news on the computer. He tries to chew on your feet, your hands, gets his head in your crotch. Constantly. If you try to ignore you, he starts making whinning noises which soon become barking until you look at him, at which point he goes back to trying to "play" with you.

I play with him as much as I can but there is only so much attention I can give him. I also need some "me time" after work. Toys don't distract him for a very long time.

Barkley spends the day outside in the backyard during our work hours. And he is very excited when either one of us gets home. And we play with him, and give him attention. But then in the evening, when it's time to wind-down, Barkley still wants more and more attention until bed time.

My roommate is not paying as much attention to Barkley as he should so I think that Barkley is getting more attached to me than him, something that kind of bothers me as well since I won't always be around. Someday I'll have to leave.

I'm afraid that Barkley just needs to feel more a part of the pack, but for 8 hrs a day, he is alone. And he just wants to interact in the evening because he probably felt lonely (and the thought of it breaks my heart.)

MEEKA
October 25th, 2004, 03:53 PM
Why Would Your Roommate Get A Dog To Leave Him Outside For 8 Hrs While He's At Work? No Wonder The Dog Is Driving You Crazy When You Get Home He's Lonely! What Is Your Roomate Going To Do In The Winter Months? Leave The Dog Outside To Freeze? Maybe Both Of You Should Consider Doggy Daycare For The Hours You Both Are Gone, That Way The Dog Can Be Socialized. Also You Might Want To Consider Obedience Classes, It's A Great Way For Him To Get Some Training.

melanie
October 25th, 2004, 04:08 PM
does barkley get enough excersise, that is not play excersise but serious long walks and runs excersise?? it sounds like he is an absolute ball of energy. dogs can be fine when left for long periods as long as it is done properly, lots of fresh food, toys, entertainment and most importantly a really good run before being put in the yard for a day, ppl leave dogs in crates (cages) for hours at a time so i have no problem with a dog hanging out the back yard as long as that dog has heaps of excersise.

a really good long run or wlak in the morning and a really long run or walk in the evening hould set this boy straight, you need to excersise him till he is totally worn out, then he will be much more calm, happier and more content and not so bored.

i have found many dog problems are related to energy to burn and excersise, he needs lots of excersise to be contented, so take that dog out at least every morning for a good half to 1 hjour of constant excersise, even walking around the block will get you moving..

i assure you it will help and is the kind thing to do for him, and you want him to be happy, you dont want him going crazy one day, so to avoid that he needs lots of excersise and patience to learn and grow and above all lots of attention.

tyr
October 25th, 2004, 04:11 PM
This is normal behaviour for a puppy as well. I would say not to worry. Especially since 4 months is the worst age for a dog. They do need a lot of attention at this age and do tend to dig and chew a little more at this age. This is just based on personal experience. My dogs in the past have gone through this part of puppyhood and have ended up being quite good when they are older. As any baby, he requires a little more play time and a little extra love at this point in his life than he will later on. I am not an expert though - I would wait and see what one of the moderators have to say.

Meeka's idea of Doggy Day-Care during the hours no one is home is a pretty good idea if your roomate can afford it. Though, you also want to make sure he is more attached to you than his caretakers during the day. So you still need to put in your fair share.

Another suggestion, take him for a nice long walk when you get home. This gives some one on one time that he needs and maybe he will curl up by your side for a puppy nap when you get home, so you can relax and read your paper while he is getting the closeness he craves.

LavenderRott
October 25th, 2004, 04:13 PM
Yellow lab puppies have lots of energy to burn!

You and your room mate need to crate train this pup. With winter fast approaching you sure don't want this little guy to freeze to death. Literally.

I would also highly recommend a training class for this young pup.

moontamara
October 25th, 2004, 06:37 PM
I hope that your roommate will consider taking him to training classes. You seem to care more about the dog than your roommate does, which will (as you already know) make it hard on the dog AND on you when you have to part ways... Please encourage your roommate to make more of an effort with his/her dog!

It's very kind of you to care so much, and even to come online and ask when it's not even your dog. :love:

lilith_rizel
October 25th, 2004, 07:09 PM
David,
I have a yellow lab as well. He is almost 9 months old. He is sort of the same way, but not as much, being that I am home all day, every day. Is your room mate crate training the dog? What my husband and are doing right now, is crating him for certain amounts of time. This way, when he comes out, he knows it is attention time for him, my husband and me. We keep the crate in a small room, with the light on, and he only sees us when we pass by. He is in there for an hour at a time, about 4 times a day, and at night. We think that he is getting too attatched to us, and he needs to learn that he can't always get attention, especially when we have our child.

We also have to give our lab a few hours of play time everyday. Someone told me that tossing a toy down the stairs works well for wearing a dog out, I tried it, and it does. It took my dog about 45 minutes of running up and down the steps. before he was so tired, he walked slowly up the steps, and just dropped beside me, but he loved it. And afterward, all he did was chew on his bone in the hallway, for about an hour or so.

You need to talk to your room mate, and inform him that labs are hig energy dogs, and that they NEED alot of attention. HE needs to start paying more attention to his pet.

Lucky Rescue
October 25th, 2004, 07:22 PM
Leaving a 4 month old puppy outside alone in a yard all day is not responsible ownership. This puppy is being set up to develop all kinds of behavior problems and to end up being dumped for barking, digging, chewing or other behaviors neglected dogs take up.

Of course this puppy wants attention when you come home. He's an energetic baby and has just spent a long lonely day with nothing to do. What will you do when this dog is a very big 8 month old puppy? Dogs can't be put on a shelf, and only be taken out when we feel like giving them a bit of attention. Raising a large and energetic breed takes lots of work and time.

If your roommate can't or won't take proper care of this puppy, he should seriously think of rehoming it with responsible people who will train, exercise and give it the attention and time all puppies and dogs need.

David R
October 25th, 2004, 09:09 PM
Thank you for the replies.

Barkley is crate-trained and he likes to stay in it, but while it's still nice outside (it doesn't get cold here until mid-late December and only for a couple of months) we let him stay outside.

The longest span of time that he spends alone is 4 hrs, from 8 am until noon when I come home for lunch and play with him. Then my roommate comes home 2.5 hrs later and plays with him (we both live about 5 mins from work so we can spend close to 1 hr for lunch). Then I'm home about 1.5 hrs after my roommate leaves.

So it's really the morning that is the longest stretch.

The next-door neighbor is also a dog lover and she stops by in the mornings and pays attention to Barkley as well.

In the evenings we try to make him run and get him very tired when we get home and again before bed time.

So considering our schedules, he gets a good deal of attention although maybe not as much exercise as he probably should.

He is extremely smart. We got him house trained fairly easily, it's very rare for him to have an accident and only needs to be let outside to pee once in the middle of the night (usually around 4 am according to the roommate). I also took it upon myself to teach him how to sit on command over the weekend, something that he learned in a matter of minutes to my utter surprise (it may be normal, but I'm new to this world.)

My roommate says that he is taking him to obedience classes soon, so let's hope that's true.

LavenderRott
October 25th, 2004, 09:16 PM
I won't horrify you with the stories I have read about dogs that have been let out of yards or stolen out of yards when owners are not home. Suffice it to say that your dog (or your room mates dog) should not be left outside when no one is home. I realize the weather is still rather nice, but humanity isn't always so nice.

doggy lover
October 26th, 2004, 12:22 PM
Sounds to me like he just wants some love............ I have a Border collie pup and he is the same way, when someone comes home and if he is not behind you, you better find out where he is as he is up to something bad.....lol. Certain breeds demand more attenshion from us, others are more independant. I prefer ones that want us around thats what I bought a dog for. :angel: