I have a ~16 month old rescue dog. He's a mutt (great pyrenees/coonhound/husky/"supermutt") For the past 8 months we've had a pretty good routine going, with 2-4 mile walk in the morning, a dog park in the early afternoon, another walk or treat-training in the evening, and regular visits to the backyard. He goes to doggie daycare 1-2x per week as well.
Once he is crated for the evening (around 7:30pm) he is quiet until he wakes up in the morning (around 6:30am).
In the past month, he has begun relentless attention-seeking behavior in the evenings from about 5-7pm. This is particularly problematic because we eat dinner at some point during this time and I also try to spend time with my 1st grader during this time after a day of work.
I am not sure what else to do to troubleshoot this. What's going on suddenly, and what else can we do?
His attention-seeking takes a lot of forms, including:
- Counter-surfing; even when there's nothing on the counter
- Grabbing couch/sofa pillows. He never does this any other time of day
- Grabbing blankets. Usually not a problem
- Going into bedrooms to grab things that are off-limits. (We close the doors now)
What we've tried
- Vet visit. He had a checkup a couple of weeks ago and has a good bill of health.
- More exercise in the early evening. A visit to the dog park, a long walk, training sessions, play dates are all greatly appreciated by my doggo but once they are done, he goes back to attention-seeking. It is hard to believe he actually "needs" more exercise. Even on days where he is completely worn out from exercise, it happens.
- Crating. He barks relentlessly if we do it during this time. Usually not a problem even during the day. We "can" ignore it but it's extremely loud and annoying for 2 hours and feet away from our dinner table (making the noise worse).
- Later bedtimes. Does not seem to make any difference.
- More attention throughout the day
- Puzzles/kongs/sticks. I guess they work, because they distract him, but it's treating the symptom and not the problem, and it's expensive/short-lasting.
- Less exercise. In case he was overtired. Didn't help, and kind of made it worse.