Why a Balanced Relationship With Your Dog is So Important
Thanks to Jokeroo for the Photo!
Without balance what do you have?
Imbalance is: lack of balance, the state of being out of equilibrium or out of proportion as defined by Merriam-Webster.com
Unbalance is: to cause someone or something to stop being balanced, steady, stable, etc. as defined by Merriam-Webster.com
Whereas I understand we need to learn to embrace chaos sometimes, especially in our work environment (because we have no control) and it is an essential skill.
We try to avoid imbalance or unbalance in everything we do.
- We want a balanced budget; or we get into debt.
- We want a balanced diet; or we get sick.
- We want balance in our relationship; or they don’t work for long before someone ends up leaving or feeling put upon.
- We want balanced pay.
- We should have balance in our day, between exercise, family, work and other hobbies.
Balance Essentially Keeps Us Happy and Healthy
Imbalance can ruin portions of our health and lives.
You could spend days online reading about how to find more balance in your life, relationships, find Zen
Why Is Our Relationships With Our Dogs So Out of Balance?
So why then is it that our relationship with our dogs is so out of balance?
If you are having problems with your dog, or he’s not listening; chances are your relationship is out of balance.
How does your relationship with your dog possibly get out of balance?
Funny thing is, that this is easier to idealize with people than it is with your dog but the same principles are true.
If you baby your dog and/or treat him like a child but don’t make him work and train for you; your relationship is out of balance.
If he chooses not to listen to you but he doesn’t lose a privilege or you don’t correct him your relationship is not in balance.
You Baby Your Dog
Now, before this becomes a “pot calling the kettle black” situation we both know (well, those of you who are familiar with my writing) that I allow my dogs on my furniture and I even snuggle with them in bed for more on why click here
But, even though I allow them on the furniture (first they must earn this privilege, and they must be nonaggressive to me and listen to commands); my dogs have lots of structure and training so there is a balance.
So many people baby their dogs, give commands that are ignored, and treat their dogs like humans.
Actually, sometimes I think it is silly when people say that.
Most people don’t treat their dogs like children or babies; most dog owners that I know who “baby” their dogs would NEVER treat their children that way. Most often their children have boundaries and structure and have to go to school and learn and have rules… but their dogs have NONE of that.
Their dogs get away with “murder” if you will!
I know that there were very strict rules in my home growing up (I mean seriously strict) and yet, my mother often babied her dogs… they got away with things that she would have chained me and my sister to the bed for!
People think their dogs love them unconditionally, so they don’t want to enforce rules or seem to “treat them like dogs” *gasp!
But the truth is they probably wouldn’t let ANYONE get away with the things their dogs get away with, even though the dog seems to love them, the dog needs structure and rules.
If “treating him like a dog” doesn’t work for you then “treat him like a child” and set up rules and make sure he gets to school to learn.
I can’t imagine a child that had NO structure and NO learning (this would actually be sad); so why is it okay for our canine companions?
The Truth is… it is NOT!
It is NOT okay for your dog to live without structure, training, and rules.
It is not fair for him to not listen to your commands and rules just because he is affectionate to you.
Would it be okay for your partner to cheat on you even though he still loves you? Or hit you because he loves you? Or gamble all of your money and live on the streets because he loves you?
Rules are just as important to any relationship to make it work.
Rules keep life in balance.
Rules also keep aggression in check and from happening. You don’t realize how many dog “become” aggressive because they have no rules!
A feeling of entitlement is not good for anything! You must work for privileges in order to appreciate them.
After all; work is a good thing. It makes you feel accomplished and teaches you many things along the way!
Be The Best
You need to be the best dog owner, mom/dad you can be; you owe it to yourself and your dog!
- Work on your relationship.
- Set up rules.
- Get your exercise, dogs need exercise to be happy.
- Set up boundaries.
- Work on goals.
- Set aside time together (time for training and exercise).
And together be the best you can be with a balanced relationship!
What do you think? Tell me about your relationship with your dog!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.