Spending time with your dog doesn't have to be playing fetch, or taking him for a walk. Sometimes, he just simply wants to sit by your side and get a good ear scratch or belly rub. Dogs crave attention when they are being good, and if you do not spend enough time with him, he might try to find trouble to get into that will get your attention.
Dogs aim to please and if you ignore him, he will feel as though he has done something wrong or that you don't want him around. Sometimes, just walking by and petting him for a few minutes may be just what he needs to let him know that you care.
Make sure to spend time with your dog other than when he has done something wrong. This reinforces positive behaviors and will show him that he is being a good dog.
Don't forget to take time out every day to exercise your dog so that he does not feel under stimulated. This can lead to problem behaviors later down the road that you will have to train him out of.
Next time your dog knocks over the trash, ask yourself this question. Was he just trying to get my attention, or was he really trying to tear up the trash?
Charlene Little is the mother of three wonderful boys and a volunteer foster mom for her local animal shelter. She enjoys working with various breeds of dogs and cats in learning social behavior, training, and how to be the successful member of a fur-ever family. She enjoys studying animals' behavior and finding solutions to behavior problems that the everyday person can handle. She covers topics from various forms of aggression and small problem behaviors. Every problem behavior has a solution, and the solution is never to give up on your pet! Love, kindness, and small adjustments could be just what you need.