Another trainer friend used this example when we were chatting on the phone one day and what can I say, I’m a thief. If I get a great analogy, I’ll use it.
So often people giggle as they say their dog is spoiled as it growls at guests or refuses to move off the furniture, barks and lunges at other dogs or even at people!
Or more often, people have no idea that the way that they show love to their dogs is causing big behaviour issues and of course they only mean well.
And I get it, it feels good to spoil our dogs. We want to give them the best. I know I do. But there’s a difference between giving our dogs the best toys, food and care and giving our dogs everything they demand on a silver platter. That’s when we see issues arise. When your dog has no boundaries and do whatever he likes…
I see this all the time and I really do understand why little dogs get spoiled (sometimes big dogs do too!) In fact, I have made major errors by spoiling our own little dog. They just make it so easy!
But we need to try to stop because it’s actually not good for the dog. Coddling and lack of boundaries or rules can actually create anxiety and insecurity in the dog. Without a clear leader present, the dog can feel like the burden of being in charge falls to them. This can even result in aggression. And the majority of dogs don’t want this burden. Dogs feel a lot happier with a clear leader giving them guidance. And that leader is you.
So how can we start being a better leader if we perhaps have a dog that is already too spoiled?
If you haven’t seen my video series on five foundations to a well behaved dog yet, that is where I suggest you start. You can sign up for it here (it’s free).
Now could you do me a favour? If you know someone that would like some help with a naughty dog, perhaps that has been “spoiled,” could you forward this to them? Let’s spread the training messages to all who will listen and start improving the lives of more dogs and their owners 🙂