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"All my dog needs is my love!"

We hear this a lot, "All my dog needs is my love!" This is not true. Our children need much more than money or toy or candies from us as parents. They need someone who can give them good advice, someone who can help them in difficult times, someone to celebrity their success with, someone to learn from when they fail... Our dogs need us to be their mentor, their protector, and their guide in life. If all we provide is free-for-all affection, it is like saying all my children ever wants from us is our money. We often treat a dog this way for our own satisfaction. If we always appear emotional in front of our dogs (when we are obsessive of snuggling with our dogs, cannot stop petting, taking to, and hugging our dogs all the time), we can appear as a very unstable being who seriously lacks self control in front of our dogs. Dogs will not look up to such a person for direction or protection. When you have a dog who is anxious and reactive, a dog who is easily spooked and distracted, a dog who has bitten others, a dog who is confused, fearful, and lost, you need to look deep into yourself and really be honest with yourself. If you want to have a dog that you can sleep with and give tummy rub to all day long — because this is what makes you very happy and is what you think your dog wants the most in life — and you are not interested in making any commitment to learn how to implement the proper structure to help your dog, no training in the world can help you and your dog. You are the trigger to your dog’s anxiety. The way you live with your dog, the way you treat your dog and the way you look at your dog have made your dog the way he is today. If you watch what l do and how the dogs become calmer and stronger as a result of what l do, you will notice that l am not addicted to giving my dogs excessive affection. A dog will not improve because l give the dog hours of tummy rub, or because l sleep with the dog every morning, or because l talk to them like little humans for hours. I don’t do those things because they are not what the dog needs. Self control is important. If you cannot control yourself, how can you control your dog? If you cannot control yourself and your dog, how can your dog believe you have control over other people and other dogs? If your fearful and anxious dog believes you have no control of other people and dogs, how can he feel safe around you? Your obsessive affection can actually make this worse. Not only because it makes you appear emotional and unstable, but because you can unintentionally make your dog very overly stimulated and aroused whenever he is with you, to the point where he simply cannot think properly around you, so once he sees anything triggering, he will react. Also, when your dog is getting all these excessive affection simply for showing up, he will have no incentive to make better choices. He will just do whatever he wants whenever he feels like doing them since he will be rewarded excessively by you at the end of the day anyway. That is how you can make a dog very pushy, entitled, and out of control. When you have a dog with a bite history, the last thing you want is for this dog to feel entitled to react anyway he wants impulsively. Affection is not the only way we can express our love, just as spoiling our children is not the proper way of parenting. No, my dog does not only want to snuggle. My dog needs me to be calm, confident, and stable in front of him, and my dog needs me to give him protection and direction. Because that is what my dog needs, that is what l am going to do. I don’t need to rub the dog’s tummy to feel happy, l am the happiest when l see the dog thrives. 

Puppy Training

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