Most dogs like being made a fuss of, having attention given or engaging in games of play, however, sometimes their attention seeking antics can become a bit of a nuisance. How often have you sat down after a hard day’s work, only to find a toy being thrust in our laps, or wet noses nudged against our elbows or our legs prodded and poked by insistent, demanding paws? Admittedly such advances can seem quite cute and endearing, so we often cave in and respond immediately by rewarding our dog with the validation it so desperately craves, little realising the potential significance of our actions. Before long, we find it is us being trained by the dog, rather than the other way around.
I frequently encounter clients whose dogs seem to be running the show at home and who’ve skillfully manipulated the situation in their favour by deciding when and where they get stroked and for how long they get stroked. If this is the case, there’s a chance your dog thinks it has control over you, it follows that we ought not to be so surprised when they feel justified in not paying the slightest attention to us when we need them to listen.
One tenet of good leadership at home is making sure you are in control of affection and play times. Put simply, instead of acquiescing to your dog’s request, you must be the one who initiates it by giving them a clear signal to come over to you. That way, not only have they adhered to your recall command, but you’ve demonstrated good leadership.