Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Home2K9 Helpful Hint: The balance of affection vs discipline.

Many owners serve up copious amounts of affection, leniency, friendship and so on with their dogs, but lack the ability/desire/willingness or awareness to provide consistent and believable leadership in equal or greater quantities. The owner's expectation is that their dog should simply listen in high stakes moments "just because," but it's those very high stakes moments that leave your dog unsure you can handle things because you haven't proven yourself serious before in the day to day. To them, you are just a cuddle buddy, a food dispenser, a door opener, and a ball thrower, not an advocate, enforcer, teacher, leader. Excessive affection and emotional energy shared with your dog 90% of the time creates a common and vicious cycle of negotiation between dog and owner. One that lacks the believability, and stability, which allows your dog to relax and let the world pass by chaotically around them "because you said so." Be fair, but firm. Be consistent and clear. Enforce accountability, and show your dog their job before they assume they should create an undesirable one for themselves. Care about sharing a leadership that means the same every moment of every day, so that what you say has value to your dog when it really counts.

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