I’ve been seeing a disturbing phrase trending on social media platforms: “Dogs are the new children; plants are the new pets.” Along with this new phrase are videos of owners laughing at, coddling, nurturing, and encouraging various misbehaviors in their dogs. It’s making me want to pull out my hair in frustration, so I have to say something.
Dogs are not children. They are opportunistic animals who will do whatever they learn will get them what they want, when they want it. Every time you let them get away with growling at you when you try to get them off your bed, you’re teaching them that growling gets them what they want. Every time you laugh at them for playing too rough with other animals, you’re teaching them that bullying and intimidation is okay – and, you’re setting them up to be attacked by another dog. Every time you pet them and tell them “it’s okay” when they bark and lunge at other animals, you’re teaching them that intimidation keeps other animals away from you.
Dogs are not children. They are dogs. The more you coddle, encourage, and nurture their bad behavior, the more insecure, unstable, and even dangerous they become. How do you think you’re going to feel if your dog badly bites you because you tried to force them off your bed, or they attack and seriously injure another dog who tried to greet you, or they bite someone else for some other reason? Are you still going to say your dog is your child?
If you truly love your dog, stop treating it like a human child. If you don’t know how to do that, hire a trainer to help you learn. Because, your dog deserves to be happy, stable, and secure.
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on.