If your dog has been wanting you to pet it a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you six common reasons why dogs do it and what you can do to get it to stop.

Your dog might actually be behaving that way for a number of different reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.

Reasons why your dog wants to be petted so much

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main cause.

Encouraging the behavior

It could be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior is rewarded. If you often give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats, when it gets you to pet it, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Anxiety

Another possible reason is that something has been causing it to be anxious and it wants to be around you because it makes it feel more secure. This would be more likely if it does it more at the same time that it is likely to be anxious. If it does it at around the same time that you normally leave home, it could be the case that it does it due to separation anxiety.

It wants something else from you

The cause could also be that it wants something from you other than to be petted. It might be the case that it is actually doing it because it wants you to feed it or to give it exercise. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more before getting fed or exercised and less after.

Fearfulness

The cause could also be that something has been causing it to be fearful and it is going near you to be more secure. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more when something could be causing it to be fearful such as when there are fireworks outside or when there is another pet around.

Affection

The cause could just be that it is being affectionate. This would be more likely if it seems to do it at random times and it does not behave abnormally in any other way.

It enjoys being petted

Another reason why it does it might just be that it likes it when you pet it. This would be more likely if it shows signs of excitement when you pet it and it also gets you to give it belly rubs.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

What else happened when it first started doing it

If your dog has not always been getting you to pet it constantly, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be because something has been causing it to be anxious or fearful, learning that the behavior is rewarded or it could be due to another change in its daily routine.

What is different when it does it

If it tends to do it more at a certain time, it would also help to consider what is different about the timing. For example, if it tends to do it at around the same time that you leave home, it would be more likely that it has been doing it due to separation anxiety.

The body language it shows

It would also help to consider what body language it shows when it gets you to pet it. If it shows signs of excitement it would be more likely to be doing it due to enjoying being petted or because it wants you to give it something such as a walk. Whereas, if it shows signs of being anxious, it would be more likely that it is doing it due to something causing it to be anxious.

What to do about it

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

Avoid encouraging it

As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has been doing it due to learning that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it, by ignoring it, when it does not.

Limit reasons why it might be anxious

It would also help to limit reasons why it might be anxious. Things to do could include ensuring that it gets fed, exercised and let out to pee before leaving it alone. It would also help to ensure that the room it stays in is not too hot, noisy and there is space for it to lay down.

Give it attention throughout the day

It would also help to give it attention throughout the day so that it does not feel the need to get attention from you as much. Ways to give it attention could include exercising it, training it or playing with it.

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