Sure, we love our canine pals unconditionally, but that doesn't mean we have to spoil them rotten. Spoiling your dog can actually be harmful for him in the long run as it can lead to anxious and nervous behavior as well as obesity. Below are some tips we've used on all of our dogs of various stages, from puppies to adults, and we've found that these tips have helped keep our dogs well-adjusted, well-mannered, and anxiety-free.
Start Training Early
The earlier you start training your dog, the better off you'll both be. We recommend beginning training during puppyhood so rules will be a part of their normal environment. If you've adopted a new adult dog, train and enforce the rules with your new dog as soon as possible to help her transition into a new environment.
Praise, Treats & Rubs
Reward your pup when he exhibits good behavior, but don't reward him with just treats. Give your pooch an assortment of verbal praise, physical rubs and treats so that he won't become overly food motivated and depend on treats for good behavior.
If you train your dog on a behavior or rule, make sure you enforce it consistently. This doesn't mean just making sure she never begs while you're eating dinner—it also means making sure that your friends and family are behaving consistently towards your dog as well and not sneaking her scraps when you're not watching.
No Excessive Feeding
Watch how much and how often you feed your dog. Try your best not to feed people food to your pooch as many human foods are potentially harmful for dogs. Consult with your vet about how much your should be feeding the pup and what kind of food he should be eating, and stick with this diet. Your pooch will thank you for it when he's ten and still running like a young pup!
Socialize Your Dog
A jealous dog can sometimes be a scary dog, so socialize your pooch when she's still a puppy. The more pack-minded your dog is, the less possessive she will be of you. If you are adopting an adult dog, try to get a good assessment of how well she gets along with other dogs from the shelter, and if she has a hard time with other dogs, consider starting sessions with a dog behaviorist or dog trainer to help start socializing her.