How Much Attention Do Puppies Need?

Bringing a new puppy home can be a joyous time. For you, it means having a cute new member of the family. But it does come with a number of additional responsibilities. And for your furry new friend it means a new family and environment, but being away from their mother.

Your puppy’s new environment affects their emotions and socialization which they often will carry throughout their life. They will need adequate training, playtime, and mealtimes for their own growth and development.

However, you may find yourself asking, “How much attention do I have to give my puppy?” As their new nurturer and guardian, you have to know the right kind of care they need and how much time should be given to them. Find out all the information you need to know how much attention your pup, needs!

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puppies attention

Is Too Much Attention a Thing?

Before anything else, you need to know if there is such a thing as too much attention for dogs. The thing is, it’s not a sin to give them too much attention especially when they feel scared around a new house. And besides, it is natural for your pooch to want affection.

The only bad thing is the possibility of your dog’s over-reliance on you. It can lead to the development of bad habits and maybe even a mental disability. Just like toddlers, they will take advantage of you by whining just to get what they want, whether it’s food or simply your attention.

We love our dogs and we would cross an ocean for them, but there should always be a balance between what they want and what they need. For instance, our puppies only need space when they’re lonely rather than treats.

The general rule is to not give your puppy more attention than what you plan to do when they’re adults.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety in dogs come in disruptive and destructive ways like peeing or defecating on the furniture, excessive barking, digging, and trying to escape. When this becomes frequent it is a sign of your dog being impolite and disobedient.

Their distress can also upset us, especially when they whine and shake when they see us preparing to leave, but this is evidence that your dog is not well-trained.

Treating separation anxiety starts with knowing the root cause of what’s depressing them when you leave, desensitization or counterconditioning, and even administering medicines. This is why you must start giving them just the right amount of attention while they are still young.

To handle this situation, remember to be gradual with changes. Don’t be fooled by your puppy’s big watery eyes and instantly take the day off. Start by going home during lunch breaks until they get more comfortable with being alone! If you cannot do this then find someone you trust who can check in with them.

Remember to leave them with plenty of toys to keep them entertained while you’re not around.

Start Them Young

While your furry friend is still young, it’s best to give them appropriate care and attention so they will not get used to being spoiled and needy. Although we know that the younger the puppy is, the more attention they want, it is important to know your limitations by setting a routine for them.

Moreover, bad behavior should not be responded to with punishment or they will only mistake it for precious attention. Silent treatment or ignoring their crying and whining can help. When they are finally calm and ready to listen, then that’s the time you can teach them.

Below is a guide to help you deal with your young pet!

Bathroom Breaks

Puppies, especially when they’re too young, can’t hold their bladder too long. The Humane Society explains they can only hold their pee up to one hour for every month of age.

Take them out to pee frequently so that they will get used to urinating in the proper place. This will let them get a sense of familiarity and develop skills while forming a routine in their lives. We suggest taking your four-legged baby outside every 3 hours or so for bathroom breaks.

We also recommend giving them rewards after (not before or during) every time they use the right spot outside. That will set an expectation for them and eventually learn to defecate and urinate in a certain area without your guidance anymore.

Watch how Zak George potty trains a puppy below:


Another thing you’ll have to deal with as a puppy caretaker is getting your puppy to sleep throughout the night. Puppies spend up to 16 hours sleeping and they can only be awake a few hours during the day. However, their patterns of sleeping can be erratic.

The best way to keep their doze continuous is to put them to bed at the same time every night. Before that, it is advisable to exhaust them with exercise and playtime, feed them enough not to get hungry at midnight, and to put them out regularly for peeing or pooping.

Moreover, when they wake up and start to whine, do not ever give them attention or they will start doing the same thing every day.


This is one of the most important factors and is crucial to your dog’s behavior. Enough exposure to people and different environments at a young age will teach them to avoid barking and biting. This also helps to avoid separation anxiety!

But before letting them see the outside world, introduce yourself and get them used to you. You will be the one they talk to and play with the most. You’re the person who will give them the most attention and care. Once they’re ready, you can finally introduce them to other people and dogs.

Final Thoughts

We can’t provide an exact amount of time you should dedicate to your new puppy, but we know that teaching them to settle and demand less of your attention requires a routine that involves bathroom breaks, plenty of sleep, and socialization. You will need enough spare time every day to dedicate to training and caring for your puppy.

While these are the key factors in reducing their need for attention, you should also consider a more holistic approach. We also recommend impulse training, giving them the right food at the right time, and regular exercise for physical and mental stimulation.

We know you already saw these arduous tasks coming, but you know it will be all worth it. Training your pooch to be a good dog will pay in the long run!

Try this free dog training video series for more tips on training your puppy.

P.S. Know someone else with a dog that loves attention? Please share or pin this article! Thanks! 🙂

how much attention puppies need