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Why is my dog overly affectionate?

Why is my dog overly affectionate?

If your dog is overly affectionate you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.

This post will show you a number of possible reasons why it does it and what you can do to get it to calm down a little.

So, why is my dog overly affectionate? Possible reasons why your dog is overly affectionate are that it has excess energy, you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior, a lack of training, separation anxiety or it might be doing it for attention.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why it is overly affectionate and it could be a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your dog does it more precisely.

Why your dog is overly affectionate

Each of the different reasons why your dog does it will likely come with some clues.

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.

Rewarding the behavior

The cause could be that you have been reinforcing the behavior by giving it things that it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it is overly affectionate then it will likely do it more in order to get more of those rewards.

Instead, it would help to reward it when it is behaving the way you want it to and to stop rewarding it when it stops behaving that way.

A lack of training

If you have not given your dog much training then it will likely not know how it is meant to behave and it will behave the way that it feels like behaving. The way that it feels like behaving is unlikely to be the way that you want it to. This is why it is important to give it lots of training so that it learns how it should behave. If you have not given it much training it would help to start doing so by starting with the basics such as by teaching it to sit and stay and then to build up from there.

Excitement

The cause might be that it becomes overly excitable. This would be more likely if it becomes overly affectionate it in situations where it might become excited such as when you are about to take it out for a walk or when you come home and if it shows signs of excitement such as wagging its tail or trying to lick you.

In this case, one option would be to stop giving it attention until it calms down and then to give it what it wants.

Separation anxiety

It could be the case that your dog has some separation anxiety and that it becomes excited when it sees you. This would be more likely if it gets overly affectionate when you arrive home and if it starts being anxious when you are leaving.

It needs more exercise

If your dog is not getting as much exercise as is recommended for its breed it could be the case that it has excess energy and it is causing it to be overly affectionate. Provided your dog is healthy, it would help to make sure that it is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its breed.

Attention seeking

It could be the case that it does it because it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it starts being overly affectionate when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.

Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it. But, it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it starts being overly affectionate.

It’s a puppy

Puppies are often very excitable. If your dog is still a puppy it would be likely that it will calm down as it gets older. However, it would help to take the time to train it now so that it learns how to behave as an adult.

Things to consider

When your dog started being overly affectionate

If your dog has not always been overly affectionate it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.

If it did start doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as rewarding the behavior, getting less exercise, getting less attention or it could be due to a sudden change in its diet.

If it has always been overly affectionate it would be more likely to be due to things such as not getting enough training, nature or reinforcing the behavior. Regardless, it would help to start training it now and to avoid rewarding the behavior so that it learns to behave the way you want it to.

When your dog is overly affectionate

It would also help to consider when it does it more since it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.

For example, if it becomes more affectionate when you come home it would be more likely to be because it is excited to see you.

How to get your dog to be less affectionate

Below are some options you have when getting it to stop being so affectionate.

Ignore it

since it is likely to be doing it due to getting extra attention, one option would be to stop giving it attention when it does it. To do this you would turn your back or leave the room when it starts being overly affectionate and wait for it to calm down before giving it attention again.

Avoid negative reinforcement training

As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have reinforced the behavior by giving it things that it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to stop giving it attention and to wait for it to calm down before rewarding it.

Give it distractions

In addition to the above, you could also give it things such as toys, bones and puzzles to be distracted with so that it is less likely to look for attention from you.

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