5 Steps to Ruining a Dog

Please read this article in entirety by clicking here: 5 Steps to Ruining a Dog Below is an excerpt of this short but excellent article on training and behavior mistakes people make with their dogs. Because Weimaraners are prone to anxiety problems, these two paragraphs are particularly important. Never reward signs of anxiety in your dog.

Encourage and Reward Whining and Other Signs of Anxiety – This seems to be one of the more popular items on the list.  Fido cries in the crate, he runs over to you and shakes when the garbage truck drives past, he has also started to hide behind your legs when men enter the home, and he barks at the window to let you know that someone has just walked past the house.  Make sure you let Fido knows that he’s doing a great job at being afraid, be sure to teach him that his crying is the best way to get your attention, and make sure you constantly touch him and tell him “it’s okay” when he’s fearful and hiding.  That’ll learn ‘em!

Why this can ruin a dog – Barking, fearfulness, whining, and other anxious behaviors are NOT desirable traits in dogs.  So why do so many owners pet, praise, and verbally mark such behaviors?  From my experience, dog owners may be attempting to send the correct message in these instances, but they are using human emotion to deal with a canine problem.  If your child was nervous of thunder and lightening, you are going to give her a hug and tell her that it’s okay, there is nothing to worry about.  When you do the same for a dog, your’re basically encouraging them to be more fearful by implementing physical touch and verbal praise.  Marking and encouraging behaviors is training.  It’s up to us to make sure that we are marking and encouraging the correct behaviors in our dogs.