Monday, September 28, 2015

Pet News 17: To be a dog or nOT?

“Dogs don’t consider any of their behaviors as a problem- humans do. Dogs are perfect at being dogs. If there are ‘problems,’ don’t allow the dog to keep practicing them.”

---Lynette Tatay
A while back I wrote about how we shouldn’t stress about our dogs not being perfect. This quote reminded me that it is the guardians (us) responsibility to make sure our pets don’t get into problems and to keep them safe.

For example, let's say you used to allow your pet to jump on the sofa, but when you got a new one, you vowed to stop the behavior. However, your pet had other ideas. Jumping up was okay before, so why not now? They don’t know if the sofa is brand new, only that it’s another comfy place to be. As a responsible guardian, we should provide a comforter for our pet, either on the sofa or off, but the best option should be to prevent this behavior in the first place.

Here’s another scenario: your pet loves to dig diG DIG! But your yard is taking a toll. Your dog doesn’t think this is a problem. Digging holes provides a place that’s cool when it’s hot. What we should do is prevent them from digging anywhere they please. Teach them to dig at a specified location instead of at random places.

Trust me. I went through trial and error on this one. My dog would dig holes everywhere and it was getting dangerous to walk on my yard. So, I had two holes be the main outlets for his behavior and it stopped him from wrecking the yard anywhere else. Thus, I let him be a dog.

So Tatay’s suggestion to not allow our pets to practice certain behaviors hits the mark. Help your pet learn their manners and they’ll love you for it.



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