Why treating your dog like a human is a mistake

I found this article this morning and it sums up much of my training philosophy: 

Dogs instinctually need rules they must follow, and limits to what they are allowed to do. When dogs live with humans, the humans become the dog’s pack. For the relationship to succeed, humans must become the dog’s pack leader.  The mistake is made when the humans in the pack only give the dog love, and the other factors are overlooked. To a dog, constant affection without rules and limits goes against every grain in a dog’s instinct. While dogs enjoy being loved on it does not satisfy the animal and it is not what makes them well balanced, stable minded, secure and happy. Affectionate love is a human trait, not a canine trait. Affection does not make dogs happy, satisfying their instincts do. You need to provide a proper emotional stability in order to achieve this, and showing you have an orderly pack with rules to follow is what the dog needs. Giving your dog affection is important for the human, and enjoyed by the dog, but must be done at the correct times.

Read the entire article here

About Jeff Stallings, CPDT-KA

Having owned well-trained dogs all my life, I started Better Nature Dog Training to exploit decades of experience teaching across a number of fields. I am nationally-certified through the highly-respected Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and am a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. I teach people how to effectively train their dogs by clearly demonstrating that every interaction counts when training a dog to come when called, for example, or instructing a puppy how to best get along in life. I take a scientific and holistic approach to dog training. The scientific aspect comes from understanding dog psychology from an evolutionary perspective, knowing how dogs are both similar to and distinct from their ancestors, including the grey wolf. The holistic component derives from taking into account all facets of any particular dog’s situation, including upbringing, prior training, traumatic events and—most importantly—the characteristics of his home and family life. Training a puppy or dog can be a most rewarding life experience; it can also be stressful and perplexing. One of the best services I provide is taking the guesswork out while lending a sure, guiding hand in successful dog behavior development and modification.
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1 Response to Why treating your dog like a human is a mistake

  1. Meriam says:

    Well said. And though I know it’s tricky to compare animals and humans, humans needs rules and boundaries just as well. If they’re allowed to do everything, they will very likely become unhappy. I think it’s the nature of any social animal, humans included, to live by rules and boundaries that are set from fellow-beings. Maybe it’s because being allowed to do anything all the time, has a hidden message: we (your pack members) don’t CARE what you do, so go ahead…
    Kind regards, Meriam

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