Do I Spoil My Dog? Five Secrets to Ensuring that Your Dog Is Completely and Utterly Incorrigible
Dear Ms. Motherpuppin’
I spent the first 30 years of my life not yearning for a husband or an idyllic wedding and human children but a dog, a fluffy cute dog that accompanies me wherever I go, even when unwelcome. I was able to get that dog and it has been sheer bliss up until now.
As of late, my little Havanese, the dog I spent years dreaming of, is exhibiting odd behavior.
For instance, she refuses to sleep anywhere but on my pillow. She howls when I get on the phone and exhibits many forms of jealousy when I speak or interact with anyone else, and she refuses to drink any unflavored dog water.
I think I may have spoiled her and not just with indulgences but really spoiled her enough to turn her into a tyrant, however, I don’t care. I live and breathe for my fur baby and want her to be utterly and completely spoiled.
Nevertheless, how do I know if this behavior is a result of her being spoiled? Will more odd behaviors follow?
Forever, Dog Obsessed
Dear Dog Obsessed,
Those are some complicated questions to unpack especially since I don’t think we are talking about spoiling your dog in the traditional sense like too much bone broth but true next level spoiling. Having a next level spoiled dog is a real problem for some, random power plays the reversal of the pack order (most dog behaviorists advise that the human should be the top of the pack order in the household.) It all is a tough conversation with many competing opinions.
It is hard but then again if you are committed to having an overly spoiled dog we should describe some certain ways to accomplish this.
With these five lifestyle tips, there will be no quiet pack order and no quiet household. Your dates will ponder if they have enough patience and your dog-less friends may move on.
I have personally tested all of these strategies and found them all very effective.
Lots of Treats — All the time
The more you give the more your dog will realize they do not have to do anything special to earn. Give high value treats like the ones that even make your mouth water (unless you are a vegetarian) and give them all the time, even when your dog did something that you would prefer he did not like peeing on the rug.
Pro Tip #1: Don’t run out, check out homemade recipes for more quality delectable ingredients.
Invest in extremely cute outfits — Up the look
A cute outfit goes hand in hand with obnoxious dog behavior. Play around with logo tees with sayings like “Spoiled Rotten” in case there is any doubt.
Pro tip: #2: The more bling the better. Jewels and sparkles are a spoiled dog’s best friend.
Take your dog everywhere — you need to be in tune with her every desire
Showing up at brunch with the gals with your fur baby is the way to roll. No dogs allowed? No matter — your girl is special. Plus what if she was at home and needed a treat?
Pro Tip #3: Make a big fuss with any service person that will listen about your dog’s needs e.g. purified water, organic bacon bits, the opportunities are endless.
Understand the Pack Order — Plus, your place vs your dog’s in it
According to Cesar Millan “Dogs are social pack animals with a leader and followers.” This position, says Cesar, is so instinctual because dogs begin learning it almost from birth as the new litter jockeys for position while nursing with the mother and it is very primal and makes a big impact.
Cesar claims that there are three positions in the pack mirroring traditional designations, of a wolf pack, alpha, beta, and omega. There is usually one alpha couple, a male and a female, that lead the whole pack. They have a number of betas subservient to them, with the omegas subservient to everyone else.
The Pack Leaders, naturally, are in the front. Their job is to protect and direct the entire pack. The omega dogs are at the rear.
If you want to truly spoil your dog you need to turn Cesar’s advice (be the Alpha) on its head. Move yourself into the omega position while ensuring that your furry queen is the Alpha.
If you fail to understand this you may get it reversed which would instead lead to some domestic order.
The floor is evil — a proper spoiled dog does not belong there
Couches, carriers, purses when at home and on the go your gal needs to be up, up near you. Signs of dog hierarchy include forms of behavior that assert power, being the first through the door, claiming the best sleeping spot and of course being on the bed. Having your dog up near you not only allows for you to give her a quick nibble of whatever you are enjoying but ensures that she feels and will assert herself as the pack leader (Refer to above).
Pro Tip #4: Couches and beds. The height of couches and beds also are believed to foster dominant behavior. Allow dogs to be higher than you if possible.
Ultimately, of course you are spoiling your dog. But, you are doing so because you want to. You will end up with your dog ruling your life (You may even end up sleeping on the floor BTW.) But, you will be the happy dog lover to a very cute and strong willed Havanese your way. With full knowledge that you created this little independent creature all by yourself.
Afterall, you waited nearly half of your life to hang with your best friend so . . . why not forget the sage advice of those such as Cesar Millan, who by the way does not even think that Millenials should own dogs, and do it your way. Yes, even more off behavior from your dog will follow as you navigate life, there will certainly be bouts of aggression and destruction but good news you are dealing with a Havanese not a Mastiff.