Several Simple Tips for an Independent Dog

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Why isn’t your dog an independent dog? Does leaving your dog at home make you feel so guilty that you find yourself constantly making it up to him?

Well, the fact is, you may be the kind of person who needs something to feel guilty about, especially if you’ve been trained since childhood to feel guilty. Dog owners who tolerate a demanding dog and do not train their dog to be an independent dog often do so out of a sense of guilt, not love. But, if you don’t like feeling guilty and you want to change things, follow these simple steps.

Remember that your dog is your dog. You are not his dog or his conjoined twin.

Train your dog from the beginning that being left alone is a part of life (and it’s not too late if you’ve got an older dog at home). If you want to have an independent dog then NEVER make a big deal out of coming or going. I know this one is a tough habit to break, almost “unnatural” for us crazy dog parents, but emotional hellos and goodbyes keep your dog on edge. It makes it harder for him to negotiate his being alone. If you overly indulge Fido at the door as you squeeze out, he will scream in misery. So, leave quietly and calmly.

If you want an independent dog, when getting home, do not feed into his frenzied welcome.

Give him a quick hello, go about your business, and wait a few minutes for him to calm down before giving him attention. After all, would you fall to your knees and promise ANY member of your family that this will be the last time you ever go anywhere without them? Don’t be co-dependent or encourage co-dependency! There is nothing unnatural or unkind about leaving your pooch at home. Even his ancestor’s Mom did it in the wild when she went off to hunt.

It’s the quality, not the quantity of time you spend with your dog to make him an independent dog.

If you train your dog to feel leadership from you, he will be less lonely and you will be less guilty. Bond with your dog. Practice obedience training, or agility, or even give him a massage once in a while. These practices are fun for you and him, and most importantly, will help you bond deeper. 15 to 30 minutes a day will transform a stale relationship into a nourishing, healthy one. Even having your dog sleep in the bedroom with you makes a big impression on the bonding process. It’s also time together so it will ease your guilt.

Include your dog in some errands you may run.

My dog loves Home Depot, Office Depot, and certainly the pet stores and restaurants by the beach. Getting out of the house and out of the routine will require your dog to “think” a lot more which will tire him out, too! One important word of caution though, people steal dogs. It is a fact of life!

If for some reason, you cannot bring your dog into a store, NEVER tie him up to a pole, even if right in front, and even for a minute! Your dog could be dognapped. Some dognappers sell their goods to laboratories for research and others find the highest bidders. NO neighborhood is safe from these thieves, it only takes a second to slash the lead and your dog is gone forever! How would you feel if that happened? That store that denied you entrance with a dog will be there tomorrow. Take a pass and move on.

By Jamie Michael

For More Dog Training Here!

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