How to Avoid Spoiling Your Dog

There are times when we tend to overdo affection and attention, both for our kids and our pets. And while this is not such a bad thing, it could lead to them becoming spoilt and harder to manage as they grow older. If you have a dog at home, one you’re extremely fond of and regard as a member of your family, you’re better off bringing him up the right way. Dogs are like kids – the earlier in their lives you set rules and teach them discipline, the less their chances of becoming spoilt. In order to know how to avoid spoiling your dog, you first need to understand what comprises spoilt behavior. In general, a spoilt dog:

  • Does not respond to your commands and does as he pleases.
  • Behaves badly around guests and strangers.
  • Begs at the table and even steals food from your plate when your back is turned.
  • Growls or nips when you or someone else touches his things or reprimands him for bad behavior.

To avoid spoiling him:

  • Start training your dog when he’s a puppy.
  • Don’t buy him too many toys – it costs you a ton of money, and your dog prefers your company to the myriad toys you buy him.
  • Don’t encourage begging at the table – if he persists, train him to sit quietly in his spot when the rest of the family is at dinner. Don’t throw them tidbits from the table or distract him with treats – this will only encourage him to indulge in such behavior over and over again.
  • Don’t overdo the treats when your dog obeys your orders – stagger the treats so he does not get upset when they’re not forthcoming; mix them up with words of praise and encouragement.
  • If you don’t want your dog sleeping on your bed or jumping on your furniture, make it clear to them that you will not tolerate this behavior. If you allow him to do it at times and not at others, he’s going to get mixed signals and do it even if you order him not to do so.
  • Don’t over-feed your dog – it’s bad for his health, increases the risk of disease, and makes him overweight and unable to move quickly and easily. It also makes him reluctant to exercise, and this could lead to many complications in the days to come.
  • Make sure you get the training aspects right when your dog is a pup – start off with housetraining and move on to getting him acclimatized to various sights and sounds so he’s not spooked in the company of people and other animals.
  • If your lifestyle necessitates it, use the crate or other methods to limit your pet’s freedom so that they get used to it when it’s absolutely necessary. It’s easier to get a puppy to accept crating rather than trying it on an adult dog.
  • And finally, teach your dog to learn to spend some “alone” time and not to depend on your company at all times – this lets you leave them alone at home for a few hours without them getting antsy and tearing up your home.