Many times in my travels I speak to women who tell me about how their pets (usually their dogs) are out of control or they simply don’t listen to them. They have their hands full enough with kids in the house and keeping everything under control. They also tell me they don’t have the time or energy to do more extensive walks or do any additional training etc. Here are two quick steps to help you regain control and set boundaries for your pets so you can have a little more peace and order in the house.
First step is you need to be the leader, the one who controls the resources and enforces boundaries. Pets need boundaries to be set and enforced. In the absence of boundaries and rules, they will make things up themselves (which usually results in something of their choice being chewed up). Leadership does not mean yelling a reprimand or being abusive. Leadership is calm, focused confidence that you are running this program. All good things come from you. When you tell your pup to sit – it is in a “matter of fact” tone. A consequence to not doing an action is the pup doesn’t get the treat they want.
Which leads me to the second step – they need to work for their treat or their food. At meal time, your pup or pack should sit before the bowl touches the floor. Some people insist that their dogs wait in another room while the human family eats at the table. If they are going to go outside for a walk, have them sit first. The reward is getting to go outside. The point here is they must listen to you. If there are kids in the house – the whole family must be a united front when it comes to boundaries.
Otherwise, the pup or pack will play you off of each other.