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Old January 28th, 2004, 08:59 AM
imacolata imacolata is offline
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My dog is too needy!

My husband and I just adopted a dog (about 2 weeks ago). She is a 9 month old mix (we think boxer/golden lab/some sort of shepherd mix??)

She's very, very sweet, listens well and is just the best dog -- except for one thing. She's starting to become very needy.

No matter where we are, she has to be right at our sides, at the very least in the same room with one eye on us. She isn't exhibiting classic seperation anxiety problems when we leave for work as far as tearing things up.

Though, she has dragged things out into the living room, but for the most part doesn't chew on them, she just piles things up. she doesn't go to the bathroom in the house at all -- like I said, she's just a good dog.

But, I'm getting annoyed with her clingy-ness. I can hardly get ready in the morning for work without tripping over her lying at my feet.
I can't even spend time cuddling or petting my cats without her nuzzling in trying to push them away with her nose or foot.

She has a few toys to play with and several kinds of bones. Maybe I need to give her some more toys?

I give her a firm "NO" when she tries to push inbetween me and a cat or when she's trying to climb into my lap (she's a 40 pound dog, not a lap dog!) but that just makes her shrink down as if I'm going to hit her (I don't!) and I wind up feeling horrible and guilty.

I have to figure out how to break this bad habit she's starting to develop! I don't want to wind up with a jealous, extremely needy dog. Can someone offer any advice? Please help!
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Old January 28th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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amaruq amaruq is offline
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You only got her 2 wks ago?
Was she froma rescue? I'm thinking so?
You know what..put yourself in her place....she is frightened that this great place and its people will go away. Who knows what happened to her before you got her.
Give her lots of cuddles but if it does become bothersome teach her sit and stay and when she does she gets great big cuddles and attention. No toy can make up for attention...dogs love to be loved!
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Old January 28th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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homer homer is offline
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 53
Just a thought,

Maybe get a special toy for those times that she is especially clingy. Make a big production when you give it to her. Maybe a Kong filled with peanut butter, it doesn't matter as long as the dog loves it.

The dog IS 9 months old, so it is still young and just getting used to you and its new environment....it may feel insecure.

I HIGHLY recommend a group obedience class so that the dog can gain confidence and socialize with other dogs.

Good luck

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Old January 28th, 2004, 09:27 AM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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First of all, you are very lucky to have a 9 month old rescued dog who doesn't destroy things, chase your cats, or pee in the house!

Her clingyness is normal. She has already lost at least one home (maybe more) and is afraid of losing this home too! She is at your feet constantly for fear that you might disappear too.

Make sure she is on a consistant schedule, so she always knows what to expect and when to expect it. That should calm her anxiety and fear somewhat.

How is her obedience? I suggest taking her to obedience school. This is great for building confidence in uncertain dogs, and bonding with you.

Are you giving her plenty of attention and enough exercise? Excercise alone can make a big difference in her behavior.

Instead of saying "NO" when she pushes between you and the cats, give her something else to do, like a "Sit" or "Down", then you can praise her for doing good instead of scolding her. When she obeys you and stops the demands, you can THEN praise and give attention. In other words, she WILL learn that when she STOPS demanding attention - she gets it!

I had a somewhat similiar problem when I adopted my dog. She would come when I was on the computer and shove my arm with her nose. That was a demand, and if I had obeyed it, the demands may have escalated. What I did was tell her to Sit. If she did so quietly for a minute or two, she would get the attention she wanted.

Your dog sounds like a sweet and good girl who is just lacking confidence. You need to build that up with positive ONLY training and PATIENCE!

As for her getting on your lap - I have a 70 lb pit bull who is a lap dog!
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Old January 28th, 2004, 10:05 AM
imacolata imacolata is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Thank you so much for the prompt responses! I am so thankful!

I guess I was just nervous about starting out right with our dog and wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing by her. I was so worried about being a good "mom" that I lost sight of how it takes time to nurture!

She is, in fact, a rescue. I'm not sure about her history but you are completely right, she probably is afraid she's going to have to get taken away from another home!

We are on a regular schedule and are trying to keep things normal for her so she feels confident with her surroundings. And will talk with my vet about obedience training for her confidence.

I am taking your suggestions completely to heart and will work with Parker more and more (and try to be more patient myself!)

Thank you again, I really appreciate the help.
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Old January 28th, 2004, 11:08 AM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Just want to add this article on tips for training unconfident dogs!

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Old January 28th, 2004, 03:07 PM
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Carina Carina is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,244
You've had great advice - that link LR posted is wonderful!

I've had a couple of dogs like this, one is my shelter Rottie Daphne who had a real rough start to life. Parker sounds really wonderful actually! I bet she'll gain confidence & happiness very well.

I also believe the key is training; it allows you to work better with her and will give her confidence. Try using food or games (fetch, tug, etc) incorporated with learning stuff like stay, sit, shake, etc. So it's all fun & positive for her. Corrections & scolding will probably make her anxious, I'd keep everything real upbeat to keep her gaining confidence.

And I have three Rottweilers - one of several breeds known for their tendency to follow their person from room to room! It probably is more fear of being abandoned with Parker, but some dogs are just like that anyhow - mine feel it's a job to keep their eye on me! I don't even bother closing the bathroom door; they get upset if I do, maybe they think I'm going to fall in!
Oh yeah - Dutch is a 105lb lapdog, but only when I give him permission.
Cooper The WonderDog
Daphne The Destructo-Rott
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Old January 29th, 2004, 03:50 PM
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Spoiled Spoiled is offline
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I've heard of a dog, who was at a humane society and returned 3 times in half a year and turned but turned out to be a really nice dog once the owner built trust with him. Here is the website:


It doesn't say much about training a dog like that, but its a heartwarming story that I hope will inspire you.
~*Life is one big game of fetch*~
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Old January 31st, 2004, 05:17 PM
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wAggie wAggie is offline
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Poznan
Posts: 1,894
3 years later, and my Chocolate is still at my heals or by my knees if I have anything to do with ANY food... haha

u'll get used to it, and will DEFINITELY miss it when it's not around.

they pick up any scraps u drop!
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