There are plenty of reasons my dog wants to play all the time. Sometimes, they are bored, and at others, they aren’t getting enough exercise. Overall, dogs seek attention when they are:
- anxious when we’re away
- Showing affection
My Dog Wants to Play All the Time
Sometimes, we can’t wait to come home so we could play with our dogs. We’re simply ecstatic because we know our furry buddies will be happy to spend time with us and show us some love. However, at times, our dogs’ need to be around us and have all our attention becomes too much, and we can’t help but shout, My dog wants to play all the time, what do I do?
It’s vital to remember that we are our dogs’ entire world. They love us and consider us more than family. Therefore, their behavior isn’t that uncommon or abnormal. Still, there’s a fine line between showing affection and being needy.
The Troubling Behavior
When our dogs want to play all the time, they can get:
- attention seeking
Needy dogs that seek attention and want to play all the time can be relentless. What’s more, no matter how much we love them, we can’t spend all our free time playing with them. Thus, they can also become overbearing.
When a dog is seeking attention, they’ll jump around, bark, huff, or nudge you. However, when its neediness takes a turn for rigorous hounding, then we have a problem on our hands. When seeking attention, our dogs will be almost aggressively playful. They’ll shove toys at us, begging us to notice them, or they’ll break the rules they know they shouldn’t only to get us to pay some attention to them.
My Dog Wants to Play All the Time — Why?
There are numerous reasons our dogs want to play with us all the time. We might be working too much, or we’re away from our homes a lot. If that’s the case, our dogs are alone almost the entire day. Therefore, our puppies might miss playtime more than they would if we were home more often. So when they see an opportunity for some playtime, they’ll jump on it and grab it with all four paws!
If we aren’t paying enough attention to our dog, then we can’t really go around whining, My dog wants to play all the time! since it’s not entirely true. However, sometimes, our dogs can get clingy even if we’re paying them our usual amount of attention (which is plenty).
They Love Us
It’s an undeniable truth that our dogs adore us. We’re a part of their family, their pack, and their inner circle. If we think about it, it’s only logical that they want to spend as much time with us as possible.
They Are Socializing
Just like humans, dogs aren’t solitary creatures. They don’t particularly enjoy being alone and would rather share their days (and their doggy adventures) with someone else. Therefore, one of the reasons your dog wants to play with you all the time is that it needs to socialize.
What’s more, dogs also want to spend time with us. They don’t want us to get lonely just as much as they’d prefer not to be lonely themselves. So our dogs don’t follow us around to be a nuisance; they genuinely think we can benefit from them being around.
They Are Bored
Alright, so maybe it’s not all about love. Sometimes, our dogs get bored. There aren’t enough things that could catch (or keep) their attention. So they turn to their primary caretakers and beloved playthings — us!
Here’s the catch — our dogs might not know much, but they know we are here for them. Their environment (with us in it) is a constant (usually). Thus, when the dogs get bored, they go for surefire entertainment.
Whenever our dogs seek our attention, we give it to them (even for just a moment). We engage them, pet them, or talk to them for a bit. Either way, we chase away the boredom (if only for a moment). Why look elsewhere when we’re a reliable boredom repellent, right?
They Are Understimulated
Not all dogs are relentless when seeking attention. If we take our dogs on long walks and play fetch (or any other games) with them regularly and daily, they’ll probably be too tired to paw at us to play with them (yet again).
Therefore, if your dog is desperately trying to get you to notice them, the problem might be you. Maybe it isn’t getting enough exercise. Some dogs need more time outside of the house, and if we aren’t providing that, they’ll get restless, and we’ll pay the price.
However, our dogs might also be understimulated mentally. We have to engage their minds as much as their bodies. So give them challenging toys that are interactive and that will occupy the dog for a while and see if their behavior changes.
They Are Anxious Due to Separation
We’ve mentioned this before, but if we aren’t spending enough time with our dogs or at home, our puppies might get a bit aggressive when asking for playtime.
They Want Affection and Companionship
Dogs follow us around and want to play with us because they want to show you affection. What’s more, they also crave friendship from us. Playing is a fantastic way to bond with the dog, and it fulfills the dogs’ need for companionship.
My Dog Wants to Play All the Time, and I’m All for It, but Is It Beneficial for Them?
Of course, our dogs benefit from playtime, no matter when or how we provide it. But too much of it might mess up their routines. However, the dogs will enjoy not only the bonding time but also the exercise and stimulation.
But don’t feel bad if you don’t have the time to play with your doggo all the time. It’ll still benefit from it. Well, let us rephrase that — you’ll probably feel guilty, so you’ll reward the dog with treats, pets, or at least some playtime. That’s a win in any dog’s book!
Still, that’s not the best way to deal with overly eager dogs.
My Dog Wants to Play All the Time — How to Deal With It
Instead of giving in to your dogs’ desperate need for attention and playtime, stay firm when you don’t have the time for it. Set aside some time for playing, but don’t just roll over (pun intended) every time your dog asks for it.
We have to train our dogs to follow our rules, not the other way around. So we have to reward the behavior we want to reinforce and punish or ignore the behavior we’d like to eliminate.
Here are some tactics that you can resort to when your dog is seeking too much attention from you.
Although we usually tell anyone who’ll listen not to run away from problems, this might be one of those times when ignoring the problem will make it go away.
If we ignore the behavior we don’t want our dogs’ displaying, they’ll eventually stop. When they don’t achieve the desired effect, dogs aren’t motivated to do something (even playing).
Create a Routine That Doesn’t Leave Much Time for It
As mentioned, if we establish a routine that gives our dogs plenty of exercise and chances to spend excess energy, they won’t have the time to bother us.
Teach the Dog a “Stop” Command
Having your dog react to a “cease and desist” command of any kind is vital for proper dog training. Therefore, if we set some time aside and teach our pups what “stop” means (the concept of it), then we won’t have any issue when our dogs want to play all the time. We can tell them to stop, and they’ll obey.
A Few Parting Words
Although the issue of my dog wants to play all the time isn’t the most pleasant one, we mustn’t be too hasty to rectify it. Dogs still need plenty of love, attention, and, of course, playtime. Still, if it gets too much, you need to do something (fast). Hopefully, this article will push you in the right direction of which steps to take when your dog gets a bit too needy.