Most people think that if they allow their dog on the furniture and let it eat people food they then are encouraging their dog to be spoiled but if that is the criteria for spoiling a dog then I say that every dog should be spoilt. Barking, chewing, digging, jumping, house soiling, biting and other destructive behaviour are the traits of a spoilt dog. Spoiling occurs when you give something for nothing. Your dog must realize that just because it asks for something doesn’t mean he/she is going to get it. They have behave in a desirable manner in order to get their wishes; demanding and throwing a fit won’t work. Spoiling occurs when you reward your dog for those things which are not appropriate. You might think it is funny now but in the long run you will come to regret it.
The best human and dog relationship is when the human is the trainer and the dog is the trainee. Your dog must know that you are the alpha of the pack. Your dog must realize that he can earn the good stuff by doing things to please you. Though dogs love their owners but they are hardly ever trying to please them. They do things which guarantee them a treat and in the process if they please their owner it is only accidental. A spoiled dog is one who does not need to please to the human to get the good stuff and generally behaves like the trainer in most cases. A spoilt dog has many traits but mostly a spoilt dog is one who barks at three in the night to go out, barks at your husband when he tries to get on his side of bed or whines to be let outside the crate so that he can sleep on the bed and in most cases drags his poor owner around the neighbourhood eating every bit of garbage, barking on every human and animal on the way and peeing on every bush.
Your dog must realize that nothing is free in this world. He/she has to perform a desirable task so as to get a treat. Your dog has to learn to say please. The best way for dogs to say that is to sit and wait patiently while you serve his food or tell him to do something and this is the easiest of commands. Once your dog knows that doing this will earn him rewards he will do it without fail. Never command your dog to ‘say please’ he has to learn to do it by himself. If they don’t do it on their own accord then they will not do it in front of your neighbours and guests. Your dog has to realize the fact that unless they initiate the good behaviour the good stuff won’t happen.
Don’t falter or give way to your dog’s tantrums. If your dog wants to go for a walk and then starts running about here and there and doesn’t listen to you then say ‘no’ and keep the leash back in the drawer. After your dog has calmed down try again if he/she behaves in the same way then say ‘no’ again and keep the leash back. Do this repeatedly until your dog realizes the fact that throwing a fit will get him nowhere. Once your dog sits quietly and waits to be collared then take him out for a walk as a reward.
If your dog is already spoilt then the only way to modify his behaviour is by reprogramming all that he has learnt. For example your dog has the habit of barking to let you know that he wants to go out and you want him to quietly come and sit near you instead of barking. The only way to do this is to stop responding; stop responding when your dog barks the next time. He will probably start barking louder but pay no heed. If you give in and open the door then your dog will realize the fact that barking louder makes you open the door and this will not end well for you. It might take some days or some weeks but your dog has to realize the fact that unless he comes and quietly sits by your feet he won’t be permitted to go out. Make sure you don’t tell your dog to keep quiet once he starts barking or else he will think that it is a chain reaction. He might think that if he barks and then keeps quiet then he will be permitted to go out and that is not something you want to inculcate in your dog.
Make sure you understand your dog. Lack of understanding gives way for pushy behaviour. Reward your dog for the good things and not for the bad things. Don’t think of their pushy behaviour as funny or cute. Some dogs are already spoiled but there is no reason for alarm; with a little bit of patience and a no nonsense attitude your dog can become one of the most well behaved dogs around. Don’t accept the fact that since your dog is already spoilt there is nothing you can do about it but teach and train your dog well so that the next time someone says spoilt you can proudly say “not my dog”.