Nothing in Life is Free @ Least Not in the Real World!by Michelle St Germain on 02/12/14
There are few things in life that are free for the taking. There are not too many opportunities for advancement without good honest hard work. We teach our kids to say please for things that they want. We teach our kids not to grab things from our hands. Finally we teach children our children how to earn things of value. My question I ask you is, when we get a dog why on earth do we seldom apply any rules of the manor? We let them race all over like lunatics, biting anything in their path. We allow them the freedom to use our home like a toilet as they take a break from eating our furniture. We say don't bother him while he is lying on the couch as he shows his teeth when we sit down next to him. we allow them to bully our small children, knocking them to the ground only to steal their mittens and take off like a bat out of hell.
I say WHY? Why do we apply all kinds of rules and limitations on little human beings, but not to a dog. A dog by far can create just as much havoc as a child can, possibly more. It only makes sense to put boundaries on a little puppy as soon as he comes to live in a human world with human expectations. Why on earth would we wait till he is terrorizing the neighborhood to realize, uh oh, now we have a problem. I don't want to start the day after the by-law officer issues me a barking dog ticket to get started on the problem. Let's start the prevention practices on Day 1, ok by at least Day 2. I will let you ooooh and awww over the precious little bundle for one day before you go all ruler of the roost on them.
I propose a Nothing in Life is Free program from an early age. Simply put, your dog/pup needs to learn to ask for things he wants with a simple behavior. It really doesn't matter what the behavior is, it can be a simple SIT for his dinner, a DOWN for a pat on the head or a tummy rub. The bottom line is stop doling out the finer things in life for nothing in return. This is how we create spoiled children, but it also how we create unruly adolescent dogs. By 6 months of age, house training should be completed, if its not, you could be in it for the long haul. By 6 months of age, you would like to have a handle on the circus type jumping teach your dog to sit for affection or any attention. Want to let your dog on the couch, teach him to ask for an invitation. Don't let them take things of yours without permission to do so. If they do so, take it away or block off areas of the home. Supervision and following through is the key to faster success.
A dog needs to be raised with the understanding that you control everything. Nothing in Life is Free, it never will be in the human world and it shouldn't be for a dog living in a human world. In order to successfully cohabitate with these furry little demons we need to set clear limitations right from the start. Don't keep the rules a secret from your dog or take for granted that he has learned them in a short period of time. Consistency is the secret to any successful relationship. It is give and take! For a copy of the Nothing in Life is Free handout, send me an email and I will gladly forward one to you.