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How protective should I be over my dogs?
MemberJune 9, 2021 at 10:06 AM
So long story short, I’ve always been super protective over my own pets. As a kid I had my own parrots, rabbits, and aquariums. Unfortunately I’ve had many experiences where someone would do something around them when I wasn’t there, or even in the split second I wasn’t looking, that would either stress the animals, hurt them, or traumatize them.
Often people wouldn’t even know that what they were doing was hurting the animal, but since I was very in tune with my pets body language and personalities I would get very stressed out when other people were around them, knowing they might accidentally scare them. And this was especially because all the pets I had growing up were prey animals and naturally more timid.
Right now, I am living on a small farm with my family and obviously we have a bunch of animals, but we also have two dogs that I am training. Since I’m the ‘animal’ person in the family, the dogs are entirely my responsibility, which I am super happy about. But this is why I’m asking this question: because of my experiences with other people around my pets growing up, I get stressed out when other family members are out with the dogs, especially my sister and her 4 year old son, who are staying with us for a few months. The dogs are still puppies, around 8 months old now, and there’s still a lot I need to work on with them. I work from home and sometimes I’ll look out the window and see that they have one of the dogs on a long lead running around. I don’t know whether to worry or not, because I still need to teach the dogs how to walk properly on a leash, need to solidify their recall, I use a prong collar but don’t trust my 4 year old nephew to be using a leash with a prong so the dogs are out there tugging on a leash without a prong, I don’t trust the dogs off leash around them either though.
The dogs are super happy to have the extra attention and fun, but I sometimes feel like all the tugging on the long lead and random commands being thrown out by my sister and her son (who likes to copy everything) start to confuse the dogs since they are still a work-in-progress. I don’t know whether I should just let them play with the dogs on a long lead, which is fun for the dogs while I’m at work, or if I should tell them to leave the dogs alone unless I am with them.
What are your thoughts on all this? Should I just let my family do their thing and stop stressing or should I tell them to leave the dogs alone?
MemberJune 12, 2021 at 10:06 AM
I can not advice you in detail about what I think you should do. But is it possible to include your sister and her boy, talking to her about what you want to accomplish with the dog’s and how you want to do it. Maybe your sister and her boy can be helpful.
When I was a little boy 0-4 years old I lived in a house with a dog and had supervised interaction with him every day. When vi moved I looked forward to the weekend when I could see the dog. A Good experience with a dog early on in life can be very valuable.
MemberJune 17, 2021 at 7:56 AM
Very dog dependent in my opinion. My younger dog likes other people and can seem to let that stuff roll off her back that other people are less formal. My older dog needs to be handled in a specific way and if someone will not listen they don’t get to interact with him at all. That is for everyone’s safety though as he isn’t the kind of dog that wants attention from randoms.
I have a four year old child who is my older dogs best companion. She is actually more capable of following rules and instructors/training advice than most adults who think he should be a big old wiggle butt, love everyone kind of dog. He just isn’t. The dog will do perfect down stays for this little girl and do an obedience routine because they have developed that relationship. Could you encourage them to join you in their training? I find that when you approach people with that type of mindset vs trying to gate keep the dog they respond better. All that said I have no tolerance for someone not listening with my one dog. I will do anything and everything to keep the training up and confidence he has developed. No one’s feelings are worth damaging how far he’s come. The young dog? she’s much more stable in her temperment so I cut people a bit more slack.
I hope my perspective helped.
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