Who is Protecting Who?
Who is the protector in your relationship? Do you protect your dog, or does your dog protect you?
I can honestly say that for the longest time I looked to my dogs for a large level of protection. A lot of people that get dogs, do so, not only for companionship, but also for the bark and security factor. When we are at home, a dog barking at a sound outside can be comforting, but is it still comforting when the dog exhibits this behavior in public?
As you read this, keep in mind that your dog is 100% dependent on you. Our dogs look to us for food, shelter, comfort, and even correction. Is it not equally important to provide a certain level of protection for your pup, or should we leave our dogs to protect themselves?
Let’s move outside of the house for a minute. When you are walking your dog, are you looking ahead to see what dangers may be approaching? Are you giving your dog information through the leash before you reach a point where your dog may act out?
It is our job, as owners, to always be scanning and looking for potential hazardous situations. If we see another dogs approaching, or any other triggers, it is best to start feeding the dog information through the leash well before we get to the stressor. By doing this, we are telling our pup that we have everything under control. If you wait until your dog alerts, it is much harder to bring the situation back down.
I want to make sure that you understand that, I do not mean that you should shelter your dog and avoid all stressful situations. Stressful situations are what cause the dog to grow and become more confident. The more to which you can introduce your dog, the more places that you will be able to take him/her. Stressors are what cause our pups to grow. Introducing these stressors really allow you to effectively communicate with and correct your pup.
When you are in public with your dog, it is ok to be over protective. If you have a dog that is a potential biter, be quick to tell someone they can’t pet. If another owner allows their dog to get into your dog’s space, speak up! Who cares what people think, it is about your dog’s safety and well being.
Let me address petting just by itself. It is 100% ok to not allow strangers to pet your dog. Would you let someone pet your children? I know that this is an extreme comparison but, Would you? Even if you don’t have a potential biter, strangers petting your dog in public can send the dog into an excited state. If your dog gets into this state, it is often times, hard to bring them back down. The other thing that it does is makes your dog seek out the attention of others, and a lot of times completely ignore you!
Another issue I advise on daily, is correcting your dog in public; especially when it comes to E or Prong Collar. We feel that if we have to give a strong correction in public, people will pass judgment. The truth is that most will, in fact, pass judgment, but Who Cares! It’s your dog and you are the one responsible for its behavior and safety. Dogs are very smart. They will figure out very quickly that you will not correct in public, and when they do, you will have your hands full. I guarantee that if you do not correct your dog in public, you will always be embarrassed and stressed out by your dog in public.
So let’s do this! Get out there, be active and take your dog! An active life is a healthy life for you and your pup!
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