You can't wait to get home to your furry BFF, and he can't wait for you. When you enter your home do you lavish your pooch with hugs, kisses and squeals of delight? While you might think it's harmless, experts advise the practice can do more harm than good.
Completely ignore your dog for at least five minutes after coming home, advises Megan Brooks, a certified dog trainer. Reward your dog with affection if she is calm after a five minute period. When you enter the door to a dominant dog and make eye contact, you have effectively communicated to the dog that you are a pack follower, not a leader. Ignoring the dog upon entry reduces your dog's dominant behavior.
The ASPCA advises that you enter the door, turn your back, stand up straight and keep your arms to your sides if your dog is a jumper. Refrain from telling her to get off, and do not push her away. Continue to turn away and pull your arms tightly to your chest if she persists in jumping on you. Wait for your dog to sit calmly, or until she has all four feet on the floor at least, then reward her with a quiet, calm pat on the head. Jumping is a dog's way of trying to gain dominance over you, according to expert behaviorist Cesar Milan.
Ignore your dog for a few minutes after you enter the door if your dog exhibits submissive urination behavior. Refrain from looking at your dog in the eye to avoid intimidating your dog. Put your things down, remove your shoes and jacket and go about your own business for several minutes. Bend down to the dog's level when you are ready to greet her. A submissive dog feels threatened by your perceived dominance if you tower above her, and this increases the submissive behavior.
Make your homecoming low-key if your dog suffers from separation anxiety, according to Lisa Nelson, VMD at the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association. Wait until your dog sits before you pay attention to her. This can decrease your dog's anxiety, a problem that can range from merely annoying to severe. Work with your dog to tolerate short departures, then work up to leaving her for longer periods of time.
- International Association of Canine Professionals: Greeting Your Dog
- Happy Dog Connection: Submissive Urination – How to Stop Your Dog From Peeing When His Emotions Run High
- Cesar's Way: Why Dogs Bark
- Cesar's Way: Common Dog Behaviors Explained
- Vermont Veterinary Medical Association: Home Alone
- ASPCA: Teaching Your Dog Not to Jump Up on People