A new dog – it’s a team effort

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I was chatting to a lady today who was out with her young pup – around 6 months old.  She had been trying to train her dog and to do the right things at home. However, it was proving difficult. Her situation is one that is all too common.

Whilst, she was trying to do the right things; train her dog to sit, walk on the lead, not beg for food, etc, her partner wasn’t.

I see this quite frequently. A dog is brought ito the home. One person is very committed to the dog but, the partner isn’t interested. As far as they are concerned the dog is the responsibility of the other person, its’ their dog. This means they do not involve themselves in the development or the care of the dog. In fact, they ignore everything that the, responsible, partner is trying to achieve with the new dog.

For example – one person makes the dog lie down when the humans are eating, the other allows the dog to beg and rewards it for doing so.  One person stops the dog from jumping up, the other encourages it and rewards it by interacting with it.  I think you get the picture.

This situation is grossly unfair on the dog. It has no consistency, therefore it will become confused. Dogs’ need structure. Without this, they will not develop reliable behaviour and will struggle in the home and away from it.

The message here is do not bring a dog into your home unless, it is a decision agreed by all, the adults, that live there. It has to be a group thing – EVERYONE takes responsibility for the new dog – they ALL do the SAME things. If this is not going to be possible – do not get a dog.

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