It is possible to spoil your dog and love them ‘too much’ (stock photo) (Image: Catherine Falls/Getty Images)
Expert canine trainer Jack Fenton warns loving your dog ‘too much’ can have negative consequences on their behaviour, like letting them guard the bed and feeding them scraps of food
There is absolutely nothing wrong with whole-heartedly loving your dog and believing they are the most special pooch in the world. But according to a canine expert, you can spoil your pet ‘too much’ and cause them to develop behavioural problems.
Qualified dog trainer Jack Fenton believes spoiling your pup can result in bad behaviour. From letting your dog sleep in your bed to feeding them scraps under the table, Jack depicts the fact from fiction – so you’ll know what acts of love won’t have a negative effect on your pooch.
Jack told the Mirror: “I’ve worked with hundreds of dogs and consistently get the same type of questions about canine behaviour – now I’m putting them to rest.”
You shouldn’t let your dog eat scraps at the dinner table (stock photo) ( Image: Getty Images/Westend61)
Fact: Feeding them scraps is bad
“There is one coming training problem caused by loving your dogs too much – and that’s feeding them scraps at the dinner table,” Jack explained.
“A training problem is only an issue if you have an issue with it. If you’re happy to have a pair of happy eyes shining at you while eating a roast, then you don’t need to worry.
“But if you find your four-legged friend’s watchful gaze annoying, you’re best nipping the issue in the bud.
“Stop rewarding them at the dinner table when your family are eating, and consider putting him somewhere else while you do so.
“That way they have no chance of being accidentally rewarded for catching a stray carrot that falls off your children’s plates.”
Myth: Sharing a bed is bad
There is common confusion around letting your dog sleep in the bed, and if it causes behaviour problems.
Some people believe letting your pooch snuggle up with you can lead them to be more ‘dominant’ over you during the day.
Jack said: “Fear not – letting your four-legged friend under your duvet will cause zero issues.
“There is no evidence to suggest sharing a bed with men’s best friend will lead to behavioural problems.
“This is good, as over half of us prefer sleeping next to our pet than our partner!
“The only way a behaviour issue might arise from your dog sleeping with you is if they guard you or space, and that won’t have been caused by your pooch sharing a bed, it’ll be the symptom of a deeper issue.”
You can share a bed as long as they don’t guard the space (stock photo) ( Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Myth: Feeding them dinner first is bad
Another worry of dog owners is whether allowing your dog to eat before you can make them dominant. The belief is that if a dog eats before his ‘master’, that makes him top dog.
Jack said: “This holds no weight. The theory of dominance in dogs has long been debunked, and your dog has no understanding, or particularly cares, about who eats first.
“No need to fear if you allow your dog to tuck into their meal before you have breakfast – it won’t help them plan world domination.”
Myth: Comforting them is bad
A common concern around behaviour problems is whether to comfort your scared dog.
Some critics believe that comforting the dog rewards this behaviour, and will make them more likely to be scared in the future.
Jack said: “This, luckily, is untrue. It is impossible to reward an emotion, and leaving your dog to be frightened by fireworks or anxious of the vets could make the situation worse.
“Comforting your pet by gently stroking them on their chest or back, or whispering softly to them will reassure them that you are there if they need to.
“Dogs, like people, need secure attachments to feel safe. If we leave them to deal with their fear by themselves, we run the risk of causing more issues.”
You should never reward your dog’s negative behaviour (stock photo) ( Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)