So you're an awesome dog owner, right?! Perfect. But do you ever wonder how your behavior affects your pup?
You might be surprised to know that dogs pick up on a lot ... in fact, they pick up on most everything you do. After all, you're the human they observe the most frequently - so how you act with them makes a huge difference in their personality and development.
Here are 4 DON'TS and DO'S for every dog owner...
1.) You baby your dog. - DON'T. (DO: Love them, but also show them discipline.)
We live in a world where dogs are our family - and that's great! They certainly are ... BUT, "babying" your pup is not the best way to handle them, just as it wouldn't be the best way to deal with a human baby or child. Dogs, like people, need discipline. So love your dog to the moon and back all you want, but remember to also make sure they respect your authority.
2.) You assume they speak your language. - DON'T. (DO: Focus on non-verbal communication.)
As much as I want to think my dog speaks English, she doesn't. And my pup is pretty smart! The reality is, dogs simply just understand the sounds we throw at them over and over again. And even more than that, they understand the way in which we communicate those sounds. Whether you speak English, Spanish, French or any other language, know that dogs are extremely intuitive creatures and pick up on the emotion behind our communication more than anything. So don't get caught up in what you're saying to them, focus on the how.
3.) You expect them to behave, yet don't make time for them. - DON'T (DO: Do things with them!)
Unlike us, dogs don't have to go to work. It's a blessing and a curse really, because on one hand (or paw), dogs don't worry about paying the bills; but on the other, they often live very boring lives! Being bored as a dog will often result in poor behavior, IE chewing furniture, making messes, etc - dogs weren't created to be kept inside all day. They need activity in their lives just as much as we do. So even though it might seem difficult to do anything after a long day of work, it is absolutely critical to make time to do things with (and for) your pup. Go for a walk, hit the dog park, play tug of war, or whatever! Just make sure you do something with them, as often as you can.
4.) You don't control your emotions around your dog. DON'T (DO: Control your emotions!)
As I've mentioned earlier, dogs are very emotionally intuitive. As a result, they are going to respond the same way emotionally that you respond emotionally around them. So if you are constantly tense, nervous, upset or aggressive, guess what??? Your dog will be the same way. And you definitely don't want a nervous, angry dog as a companion. So make sure you have your own emotions in check around your pup. Stay composed, positive, and happy - and your pup will do the same.
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