Who wants to see their dog in pain or nervous? We certainly don’t. So when our furry friend is nervous our first reaction is to comfort them, right? Well, you’re actually doing more harm than good. And it doesn’t always have to be when they’re hurt or scared – coddling or overfeeding them can also be harmful. Here are three ways your teaching your dog bad habits when comforting them.
Coddling Your Pup When They’re Nervous
We get it, seeing your dog shaking and nervous is heartbreaking. And although our initial reaction may be to pick them up, that’s not necessarily a good thing. When you pick your dog up during a bout of nervousness, you’re teaching them that it’s okay to be scared. You’re essentially reinforcing that behavior – making them more inclined to act nervous or scared any time they want to be held or coddled.
Treating Them With Extra Food or Treats
It’s hard to deny those puppy eyes staring at you while you’re cooking dinner in the kitchen cooking. And since they’re sitting so politely, you throw them a scrap of food or a dog treat. While the occasional treat here and there is okay, constantly spoiling your pup with food and treats is not good.
Dogs are beyond smart, and they know exactly what they need to do in order to get a treat from you. Even though they may act starving all the time, they’re really just tricking you into giving them a treat. And over-feeding can lead to serious health issues, like obesity or heart complications.
Always Picking Up or Carrying Your Pup
This may not be an issue for owners of larger breeds, but for small pup parents, constantly picking up or carrying dog is actually doing more harm than good. You may think always carrying them keeps them from getting hurt, but in reality, it can cause behavioral or obesity problems.
For starters, dogs who are constantly held don’t get as much exercise, which can lead to weight problems. Furthermore, their socialization skills may take a hit as they aren’t able to interact with other dogs or humans.
We want nothing but the best for our pets, and that typically involves doing at least one of these three comforting habits. But what may seem like a good habit, actually does more harm than good.