It seems so harmless. You get a dog, you’re wildly in love with them, and you desperately want them to be happy.
This new dog has your heart, and all you want to do is give. It makes total sense. We’re heavily programmed to nurture, and like I said, it feels so good.
But babying your dog, meaning there’s only nurturing and love, and zero discipline or accountability, is the most common way dogs are ruined.
Whether it’s craziness towards guests, explosions on walks, resource guarding, obsessive barking, or actual aggression, spoiling is the perfect way to turn your baby into a monster.
We see dog after dog who come through our doors who are a wreck. They’ve bitten people or dogs, they’ve taken over the house, they’ve made the walks a war zone. And almost always, when we dig a bit, we get the confession: Yeah, I really treat him like my baby.
Ahhh, there we go.
And it’s easy to see. The dog doesn’t respect the owner, doesn’t listen, and usually is hyped-up and made crazy just by their presence. But you wouldn’t expect anything else, would you?
If you spoil, allow, and baby, you’ve basically created an entitled brat, who has no sense of right and wrong, and no reason to not do whatever feels like the best choice in that moment.
To be balanced, a dog needs to not only know what you want, they also need to know you’re worthy of respect.
You’re job is to clearly articulate the rules, and enforce them. If you choose to only do what feels good for you, you can’t blame your dog when they fall apart.
Babying is about you. Not your dog. It’s a selfish act. Sorry to be blunt, but them’s the facts. And when you see dogs losing their quality of life, their homes, and sometimes their lives, it’s time to be blunt.