Being loving and gentle with your dog is important, but it's also crucial to establish boundaries and maintain a healthy balance of discipline and care. Here are some signs that you might be too soft on your dog:
Ignoring Bad Behavior: If you consistently overlook your dog's undesirable behaviors, such as jumping on people, excessive barking, or stealing food, it might indicate that you're avoiding necessary corrections. We often inadvertently reinforce a behavior, such as jumping, by touching our pups when they jump on us.
Inconsistent Rules: Dogs thrive on routine and consistency. If you're lenient about rules and boundaries, your dog might become confused and not understand what's expected of them. Everyone in the household should be consistent with rules to avoid confusion.
Overindulging Treats: Constantly giving treats without requiring any effort or behavior from your dog can lead to obesity and a lack of motivation to follow commands. Obesity is a huge issue with dogs and causes a plethora of health problems.
Allowing Disrespect: If your dog doesn't listen to you or ignores your commands without any consequences, they might perceive themselves as the one in charge, leading to a lack of respect for your authority. Always hold your dog accountable.
Excessive Freedom: Giving your dog unlimited access to furniture, sleeping in your bed, or unrestricted access to all areas of the house can blur the lines between pet and owner, potentially causing behavioral issues. When pups are left to their own devices they will have a tendency to get in trouble.
Ignoring Training: Dogs need training to understand basic commands and behaviors. If you're not investing time in training your dog, it can lead to a lack of control in various situations. Obedience commands are a great way to communicate and offer clarity with your pup.
Separation Anxiety: Being overly attached and not leaving your dog alone for extended periods can lead to separation anxiety, making it difficult for them to cope when you're not around. Coddling, holding, touching, and talking excessively to your dog will never teach them how to self sooth and be confident. Crating is a necessary part of raising a well-rounded pup. FACT: Humans cause 99% of separation anxiety in dogs.
Lack of Socialization: If your dog is not exposed to different people, animals, and environments, they might become fearful or anxious in new situations. Allowing your dog to be around your family and their dogs is a great way to socialize your pup. We never recommend dog parks or doggie daycare!
Allowing Aggression: Ignoring aggressive behavior towards people or other dogs is not only unsafe but can also reinforce the idea that aggression is an acceptable way to respond to discomfort. Dogs need to learn how to handle stress without conflict.
Humanizing Behavior: Assigning human emotions and motives to your dog's actions can prevent you from accurately understanding and addressing their needs. The needs of a dog are very different from that of a human.
It's important to strike a balance between being kind and setting clear boundaries for your dog's behavior. Consistent training, positive reinforcement, and appropriate corrections can help your dog understand their role in the household and ensure a healthy and respectful relationship. If you're unsure about your approach, The Clever Canine is always here to help!