There’s no doubt you love your dog, but there’s a fine line between loving your dog a lot and actually spoiling them. Too much love can be a bad thing when it leads to spoiled dogs. Not only is it unhealthy physically for your pet to be spoiled, but it can affect their behaviour, too. Here are some ways you might be spoiling your dog inadvertently.
What’s the difference?
Loving your dog can lead to spoiling your dog if you’re not careful. Love is a powerful reward for dogs. This means that it is also a terrific training tool--praise your dog after he produces positive behaviours and see how he responds. Alternatively, offering your praise or attention when your dog misbehaves, or ignoring bad behaviour, can lead to a spoiled dog.
One of the most common ways that people spoil their dogs is to give into bad behaviour or overlook it. Think about destructive behaviours like chewing items around your home or begging for treats. If you reward these behaviours by giving in and letting your dog continue to do them, or worse, by actually rewarding the dog with treats, you are spoiling the dog and setting yourself up for a lot of destructive behaviour.
Not setting the tone for good behaviour early on
Negative behaviours that are learned through spoiling are preventable. Most develop early, like any habits, and persist because the pet owner doesn’t actively train the dog to behave differently. Consider a small puppy that greets you enthusiastically when you come home every day. If you reward his enthusiasm with attention and stimulation, he’ll likely continue this enthusiastic display as he ages. If jumping up at you is part of this enthusiasm, it could become seriously problematic as the dog grows.
It’s up to you to use discipline from an early age so that your dog knows the rules. Dogs crave structure and rules, so you’re showing them more love by offering this than you are by spoiling them into bad behaviour.
For more tips on training your loveable (or spoiled) dog, visit Bark Busters and speak to a staff member today.