If we don't set the rules, our dogs will.


Why dogs start having behavioral problems? It is because we forget to provide to their instinctual needs. If we always just share the soft stuff with our dogs (petting, coddling, baby talk, no rules, free roam etc) and don't apply rules, boundaries, accountability and environmental control, our dogs will eventually take over the pack and set their rules and boundaries over us. If they don't feel safe, have no authority figure to look over and protect the pack, their natural instinct will surface and they will try to rank themselves above us. That's when you see the resource guarding of bowl, bones, toys, biting, nipping (when approaching them), jumping and all other non-sense behaviors. Most times, if the dog growls, snarls or bites, it's human nature for us to back off instead of correcting the dog. Once we let the dog win, then the dog now learns that he has control.


So before you start sharing the petting, the loving with your dogs, free roam and access to your home, start by creating rules of your house first, eliminate access to things, make your dog earn everything. Make your rules believable by being consistent and making it a habit, then later down the road, when your dog understands that you 'own' this pack, allow a bit more but keep the structure in place, because if you fall off the wagon, your dog will too.

Lise LoComment