Does your dog respect you?

Last month we discussed consistency in order to achieve reliable results with your dog. This month I want to focus on the relationship you have with your dog(s). Many people put too much pressure on their dogs. They want them to be a best friend, counselor, psychiatrist, baby and someone to spoil and not enforce and rules or boundaries.

This mentally is typically what gets owners in trouble.

Dogs need guidance, leadership, structure and boundaries. Those don’t have to be MEAN words.  They are qualities that help to set your puppy up for success.

There is nothing wrong with crating your dog while you are home. Having your dog on place while you cook, clean or watch TV. Have them wear a leash if you have friends over. Helping them learn to make the correct choices regarding their behavior. The goal is to do this objectively and not feel bad or guilty about it.

It is important to bond and have a good relationship with your dog, however, you need to be able to maintain a healthy boundary. Too much love and cuddles and not enough discipline can create conflict.

It is important to treat your dog like a dog. They are living breathing predators that have teeth, like to bite and have the ability to kill. Dogs deserve our respect, and it is important to honor their genetics and create opportunities for them to be a dog. Let them run, dig, chase and play as a reward. But, you also need to enforce your household rules and boundaries without feeling emotionally guilty or scared that your dog won’t love you anymore. This is especially true for small dogs. They often get away with a lot of naughty behavior due to their small size. But even small dogs need to have rules.

This is where the consistency comes into play. If you are hesitant to enforce the rules, intimidated to provide a correction and can’t go a whole day without talking, hugging or kissing your dog, the relationship needs help.

Training is not effective if you aren’t willing to change your mindset and behavior. It is not always easy, but then again, the famous quote stands true that if it was easy, everyone would do it. That is why dog trainers have jobs. So, reach out to a trainer that can help you create a mutually beneficially relationship for both of you.