Is It Spoiling Your Dog to Carry Him?

Why dog owners shouldn’t always carry their dogs

There are a lot of ways to spoil your dog. You can give them treats, rub their bellies every night, give them a comfortable bed to sleep in, feed them a good diet and regularly brush them to keep their coats shiny and lustrous, and otherwise show them that you love them.

These are great ways to spoil your dog, but there are some things that you can do that aren’t going to have the positive effects your dog really needs. With news pictures of celebrities carrying their pups becoming a popular trend, the act of carrying your four-legged friend around has grown in popularity, and that’s not just for the smaller toy sizes. Even larger dogs are being lifted off their paws and carried when they don’t really need to be.

Carry to care

First of all, we must start with when it’s a good idea to carry your dog. After all, there was some point in your life when someone else carried you. As a dog owner, you must understand that it will be necessary to pick your dog up and help them in their time of need.

How about when they’re sick? Maybe when they’re injured? Of course these are situations in which you should carry your dog when they need the assistance. They can’t always get into the car or want to eagerly hop up on the veterinarian’s table, so they need a little help. As a loving dog owner, it is your role to ensure they are happy and healthy, just like a parent would for a child.

Then there are the many situations in which dangers lay under-paw. Parking lots can have numerous dangers, as can any sidewalk or walkway. Broken glass, hot cement, or even stickers can all pose a threat to paws. If you wouldn’t walk on it with bare feet, your dog shouldn’t have to put their paws to it. Rather than having to carry your dog, you should work to avoid these types of situations in the first place.

Consider high risk areas, such as public walkways where small dogs could get stepped on or have their paws smashed by sliding doors. It’s better to avoid these locations if your dog is not socially ready, but when you must, it is better to carry them than to chance them getting injured.

Then there are situations in which you need your dog to get out of danger quicker than it might take them to respond, or if they are enticed by the danger such as chasing a moving car or a pursuing a cat into a dangerous area.

Let your dog walk

But do not be mistaken, because it is very possible to spoil your dog by carrying them regularly. Dogs quickly pick up on habits, and if you regularly carry them, it is as though you are training them to rely on you to transport them. It may not be considered spoiling. Rather, it has become a habit that they let you carry them around everywhere. And you can be assured that if you constantly carry your dog around, they will expect you to do the walking for them.

Let your dog carry themselves when they can. If they’re getting into the car, let them get in themselves. If they want to walk, let them (squiggly worms in your arms may be a hint they want down). Don’t hold your dog back from being their own dog, or they’ll always want you to carry them around.

Most importantly, they need the exercise. If you constantly carry your dog, they aren’t exactly getting the exercise they really need. They aren’t as active. They’ll wait for you to come get them or expect you to do things for them that dogs should do on their own (I’ve seen older dogs that wouldn’t eat unless fed by hand).

You may be thinking about situations in which your dog doesn’t want to get into the car because they know where they’re going (groomers?), but you really shouldn’t force them or you’ll always have to force them. Instead, treat or entice them to want to get in and go.

In truth, it is completely possible to spoil your dog by carrying them everywhere. But that’s only if you do it all the time. There will be moments in which you need to pick them up and move them around to keep them safe. After all, it’s your job to make sure they stay safe and happy, and it is nice to spoil them a little bit every now and then.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Help Your Dog Learn not to Bite

One of the many problems that dog owners face is the biting issue. Sure, a puppy nibbling on your finger may be cute and just tickle a little, but as a dog gets older, biting can really become a serious problem. Many dog owners realize the danger that a dog bite can present- both to people and the dog. A dog bite raises more than just an issue with harm or danger. There is also the concern that if a dog bites someone else, you and your dog may be in trouble- legally.

Needless to say, biting isn’t only harmful, but dangerous. But why is it that dogs bite? Mostly, it’s often derived because your puppy and other puppies and dogs will play by biting and nipping at each other. When one becomes too rough, the others are quick to correct the other. This helps them learn the appropriate levels of biting. Unfortunately, when a puppy leaves their mother and fellow “playmates” to live with you, they don’t necessarily have that instinctive advantage of learning not to bite.

An opportunity to learn

Because your dog commonly only experiences mainly you and what you teach them, it’s up to you to correct this biting tendency in your puppy. Keep in mind that regardless of some old fashioned techniques like biting their ears or having to resort to other physical discipline, this may not be at all necessary. Rather it has to do with the way you treat them and the example you set early in their life.

The first step for any young dog is proper socialization. The most opportune time to begin socialization is around or before three months of age. During this time period, dogs develop the primary habits that will ultimately carry over into the rest of their lives.

Socialization includes a wide range of interactions. You will want them to encounter and experience other adults, children, and even dogs. During this process, many young puppies will be either very shy, or else aggressive. They may play, they might even retreat, but eventually, they will get used to the idea that there is more than just you and them in the world. This understanding helps to eliminate their fear of an unfamiliar face.

During the interaction, it is imperative your dog doesn’t become accustomed to biting. This applies to biting both humans and other dogs as well. Many young puppies are teething, and will chew on just about anything to relieve the irritation that goes along with this. While young puppy bites aren’t usually harmful because they aren’t fully grown, they can be regarded as “cute” or “it’s okay” by others, even children. But, it’s not okay at all. If your dog is chewing or nibbling on hands, feet, or even clothing, stop them, and instead take a step in a different direction.

This means that you should be providing appropriate toys to curb their biting desires. Chew toys, ropes, tennis balls, and even treats all help teach a dog when and what they should be biting on. Even as they get older, the need to chew and bite is often a reflex to the need to help scrub their teeth, so be sure that you provide them with that opportunity so they won’t be nibbling on your favorite pair of shoes.

Dogs will be dogs

Consider that dogs will always be dogs. They play, tackle, and even nip and bite each other. But fighting shouldn’t be allowed. During socialization, dogs learn a lot from you and their peers, including when biting is appropriate, and when it is too much. That’s why socializing with other dogs at an early stage is crucial to developing non-biting habits. During their interaction, other dogs will quickly alert their playmate that they are being too rough. Not to worry, because often times it is simply a yelp to alert them that they’ve been injured or sensed pain.

You can even practice the alert sounds, because if your dog bites you, even just a nip, yelp like you’ve been injured and play the part. You’d be surprised at how often your friend will instantly stop because they don’t want to hurt you. They may just be trying to play.

The experience with you

You need to be ready to stop your dog from biting. Don’t let young puppies chew on fingers, hands, or even your clothing. Even if you think it’s okay for them to bite you, it can definitely confuse them during their experience with others. By starting your dog off with some socialization skills and by giving them something that’s okay to bite, you can prevent them from biting anybody or anything they shouldn’t put their mouths on. After all, you don’t know where they’ve been.

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Good Strategies for Dog to Dog Aggression

photoYou take young Rover to the dog park  for the first time to let them interact with other dogs. Unfortunately for you, Rover doesn’t seem to enjoy being around some of the other dogs- and on top of that, he takes a few snaps at some of them. Not everyone in this world gets along- and the same thing goes for dogs as well. Aggressive reactions to dogs and other animals can be a big turnoff when you want to go out and play at a park or with fellow pup owners.

History

Owners may not even be aware of aggressive conditions especially if your pup has been rescued from a shelter. There are various levels of aggression that a pup can experience; snapping, growling or right out attacking and going for the jugular. This can be a difficult situation to cope with as your pup is embedded with the need to protect themselves before they are even attacked. Allowing your pup to play with unknown dogs that may also have aggressive qualities can be dangerous. A pup suffering from attacks and beatings can be traumatized- often resulting in their own aggressive tendencies.

Leader of the pack

As your pup’s owner- you need to understand that you are part of their pack (or they are part of yours, whichever you prefer). You play the part of mentor, leader and parent for them. You teach and protect your pup from the dangers of the world. Letting your pup fight for themselves in order to toughen them up can have repercussive effects and simply result in developing aggression- and often will make it less likely that they will pay attention to you.

When you go to dog parks or you introduce your pup to others, make sure that you intervene in any fight or signs of aggression. You will want to teach your pup that you are their protector and master to help prevent them from developing aggression to others. You may feel that this makes your pup weak as it seems that your pup can’t protect themselves, but by nature a dog knows when there is true danger and will protect you when it is necessary.

Another dog?

What about other dogs? You never ever trust your pup with a strange dog when they are alone. Aside from worms and ticks, another dog can have aggressive tendencies. Leaving your pup to play solo at a park with other pups can be extremely dangerous. In larger numbers, dogs regain their pack instincts and will attack- especially a newcomer to the group. This is known as “rank-drive” and is natural instinct for dogs. Sometimes it occurs without a fight, but it often results in aggression. Either way you don’t want to chance your pup to strangers. They may seem playful at first, but it only takes a second for another dog to attack- and injure your pup.

Obedience is the key to keeping your pup’s aggressive tendencies docile. You need to establish yourself as the pack leader for your pup. Create a situation in which your pup looks to you for guidance through proper training. If your pup’s problems are extreme, you may need to consider an actual obedience school for them. But as long as you teach your pup from the get-go that you are number one, they will respond well to you, and hopefully stay out of trouble on the playground.

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