How To Handle A Needy Dog

There are few things in life more rewarding than having a dog. That’s what makes it so sad when you have a dog that makes life a little less enjoyable. While some dogs have obvious issues like aggression, and increasingly annoying problem is when a dog is just too needy. Needy dogs aren’t mean and they don’t necessarily mean to cause issues, but they can ruin furniture, cause damage to homes, and even lash out when they feel neglected. As such, it’s a smart idea for any good dog owner to learn how to properly handle a needy dog and to help improve its behavior.

Look at Health Concerns

Before you start getting to work on fixing your dog’s neediness problems, you might want to look for a root cause. What you perceive as neediness might not have anything to do with your dog’s psychology, but in fact might have a lot to do with your dog’s physiology. Before you start trying to address behavior problems, take some time to figure out how your dog is doing physically.

Sometimes being needy means that your dog isn’t being fed adequately or that your dog needs more exercise. In other cases, your dog might want to be around you because it is suffering from an illness that you can’t see. If your dog suddenly develops a huge change in his or her personality, it’s a good idea to take your dog to a vet for a check-up. 

Start Training

Sometimes your dog acts needy because he or she simply doesn’t know any better. When this happens, it’s time to start training your dog. You want to go back to square one and re-establish your relationship with your dog, helping him or her to learn healthier behaviors for the good of both of you. This means getting back to basic things like learning how to sit and stay, how to behave around people, and how to deal with basic boundaries. Many dogs act too needy because they haven’t been properly trained to act any other way, so make sure that you put in the effort to stop this problem before it gets out of hand. 


Dogs are social creatures. If they are not properly socialized, they can exhibit major behavior problems. One common behavior problem is becoming a little too attached to their favorite human – going beyond the usual pet/owner dynamic and becoming possessive and afraid. If you want to help your dog to be a bit less needy, your best bet will be to start socializing it with other animals and people. The more socialization, the better your dog should feel when you’re not around. It’s not always an easy process and will certainly require taking baby steps, but it can help. 

Consult a Professional

Sometimes all of your efforts won’t be enough. You can train your dog, make sure that the dog is in great health, and that you socialize him or her as much as possible. Your dog might have underlying issues, though, and then it’s time to call in a professional. Your first, and commonly best, choice will be to take a dog to a professional for training. A good dog trainer can help to teach you not just how to calm your dog down, but to create a better bond that will make your dog feel less needy.

If this doesn’t work, you might need to hire a specialist. Working with someone who specializes in needy dogs can be expensive, but it might be the only way to get your dog to calm back down. While success is never guaranteed, these individuals tend to have a great deal of experience dealing with well-meaning but potentially destructive animals.

It is entirely possible to transform a needy dog into a well-behaved companion. Start with making sure that there isn’t an underlying health problem, then move on to training. Take the time to make sure that your dog is happy and socialize so that he or she doesn’t feel so frightened, and then work with a professional if all else fails. Taking the time to work with your pet is the best way to ensure that he or she can return to being a positive part of your life. 

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