While this inherently sounds cruel, affection is inherently a human thing. When a child is naughty or doing something dangerous do you cuddle it and tell it that it is good? If you praise or give a dog too much affection, rather than exercise or its own ‘me’ time, it will consider itself to be the pack leader and become unstable.
A case in point is a lady I know who used to own a fighting dog breed she got as a rescue dog. She felt sorry for this dog, so gave it plenty of exercise, but also with the loss of a partner started treating it very human. Night long cuddles on the lounge and no furniture off limits meant that this dog realized that it was now the man of the house.
Rather than the dog acting exemplary, this dog quickly gained extreme separation anxiety to the extent that trainers could not help it, and it is now permanently on dog anxiety medication.
Too much kindness and affection and not enough rules, confused this dog to the point of not knowing its owner’s expectations or any limits. If it wanted to get out of the yard, it should be allowed, and if that meant banging itself against the gates until it was bloodied, it should do this.
Unfortunately many people do not understand how misguided affection can lead to lesser or greater versions of this story I have seen time and time again. I hope that in your attempt to love your dog, that you understand the vital role that discipline and structure play in making your dog very happy!
How can daily dog walks create discipline?
Daily dog walks are a structure, a regular event you put into your dog’s life. Something that it can look forward to as its time with you and other dogs. If you exercise your dog every day, it will usually hold onto its poos until it gets out of its yard, and so won’t foul up its own living area (which most dogs really hate to do).
Daily morning off lead dog walks, will satisfy your dog mentally and physically, prevent separation anxiety when you go to work, tire them out so that they won’t be bored and destructive, keep them fit so they won’t have as many health issues, need I go on? Jenny M, over and out !
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