> My Dog is SO NEEDY
We adopted our dog about 9 years ago when she was six months old. She has always been a fun, loving, happy dog. She is very energetic and loves attention. Almost four years ago we had our first child. The dog made the transition just fine, she loves my DD and we continued to give her lots of love and attention, plenty of exercise, etc.
In the last year our dog has gotten so needy. The only thing that has changed is that we had a second child a little over a year ago. The dog gives me looks with her eyes that seem so hurt. She almost always is trying to crawl in my lap and demands to be a part of every single family thing that we are doing to the point that she is overbearing. She is about 70 lbs. and this does not help.
She has always been loving and sweet with my children, I am not worried about her being aggressive or jealous of them in a negative way. HOWEVER, her neediness seems to be increasing. I can't seem to love her, play with her, walk her enough. It is never enough. Lately, she has been being "naughty" by stealing food off the table when she gets the chance or chewing the children's toys that she knows are not hers. They are like her passive aggressive acts of defiance because she is unhappy.
I have no idea what to do. She has been such a handful this morning I just put her out in the yard alone and put a baby gate up at the top of the deck stairs to keep her from scratching the porch door off. And she is laying out there looking dejected and miserable - it is a beautiful sunny day and 71 degrees for crying out loud! I feel like the humans in Lady and the Tramp, like we ruined her doggy life by having children or something. What doesn't make sense is that prior to having children my DH and I worked all day and only got to walk/spend time with her early in the a.m. and before bed. The time I spend with the dog now and the attention I give her now is much higher than it was then. And we have great neighbors with a 1 year old dog who comes over into our fenced yard every day for a "playdate" with our dog. She is getting plenty of love, exercise, attention, top of the line dog food and toys, etc.
I am not sure exactly what I am asking here, I just need to vent. She is being so overbearing that I am at the point that I will not ever get another pet after she leaves us because I can't deal with it.
Sorry you are feeling this way. At least being able to vent always helps. I am not sure what you can do either. Maybe she is going through a life change (dogs have cycles like we do) and she will come through it if you just stay as great as you have been.
And definitely don't feel bad for her when she is all mopey, she will pick up on that. Even though, it seems like she is being passive aggressive, I just don't think dogs work that way. Even though you still give her tons of attention you have loosened up on her discipline and that is why she is doing those things.
Like I said, I'm not sure what you can do and these are all guesses and not sure if they will even help. I hope this ends soon so you can love your baby like you used to. It is no fun when your pet becomes annoying.
Yup dogs don't do things to get back at us. That is a human construct. If I were in your shoes I would really tighten up her life-I would institute a NILIF approach for her and get her on a set routine. Dogs really need and crave structure so I would give that to her.http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm
Is it possible that something's wrong? That she's not feeling well and it's contributing to her behavior?
Could you take her in to the vet and get her checked out?
Could it be lack of routine? Like when you worked full time before, was she on more of a set schedule?
Dogs can be such creatures of habbit, I know ours gets all antsy and out of whack when his schedule is messed with. On Tuesday dh was home from work (very unusual). Our normal routine is to all leave for work/school in the am, and Beanie goes into his crate - I come home about 4 hours later to let him out & go for a walk. Well on Tuesday I told dh to just let the dog roam around and play. He was all nervous and under dh's feet - and eventually put himself into his crate - when dh shut the door he was totally happy and whined to come out at the time I usually get home.
Anyway, do you think giving her more structure would help? Maybe if she knows what to expect and when (like when it's time to be loved on!) she will be less anxious for your attention all of the time.
Just a wild guess - I would be going nutso in your shoes.