Too Much Dog Love Causes Dog Problems

I should clarify the title by saying that in many, many cases too much dog love causes dog problems. I see it every day.

Unacceptable behavior in our beloved dogs can surface as:

• Separation anxiety
• House soiling
• Resource guarding everything from food, to space, to you— with aggression
• Not coming when called
• Attention-seeking behaviors such as barking when you are on the phone or talking to someone, barking to get you up in the morning and,
• Too many more behaviors to mention.

I think that the number one reason most everyone gets a dog is for companionship. We think immediately of what we want. We want a dog to love – to be our constant companion and devoted listener. And we want what all dogs have to give us – unconditional love.


Too much dog love causes dog behavior problems

Too many times this non-stop love affair with no boundaries creates issues like some of the behaviors listed above. These will surface later on – one, two or even three years later.

So as it turns out, the very reason you got a dog in the first place – companionship – becomes the main reason that is causing you dog behavior problems today.

Too much dog love causes dog problems in many dogs.

Can you love your dog too much?

That’s a loaded question isn’t it? You’re probably already peeved that I’m even writing this, but please, just take a moment.

You can love some dogs too much. This eventually causes behavior problems to surface later on.

Now, if you took that same dog – added structure to its life by putting it on an earn-to-learn program (sits and downs) for everything including affection, you would probably not have the issues you have with your current dog.

Many people can’t or won’t see the forest for the trees. They are, at least for the immediate future, unwilling to change their relationship with their dog because of what they fear they will loose.

Now you are thinking, “Okay, this is too complicated.”

But it doesn’t have to be complicated because dogs are simple. You wake up every morning with your complicated list of things you have to accomplish.

Your dog wakes up with two things on his mind: “What do I want?” and, “What do I have to do to get it?”

Now here’s the simple part. You actually hold the key that opens the door to everything your dog could possibly want. And, you can help him get it.

All you have to do is balance his wants with sits and downs – more usefully described as good dog behavior. Your dog’s behavior will always be influenced by his environment and you. The simple truth is that you control his environment and what you ask of him and give him in return. It’s unavoidable.

Remember these two important points: If you acknowledge and reward a behavior, it increases the likelihood that it will reoccur again. If you ignore and don’t reward a behavior, it will tend to decrease and eventually go away.

It always has been and always will be your choice. Make the right choice now for your dog. Once you change – your dog will change.

I’m always curious about your input – it’s important to me.  

We’re always learning and there’s a bunch of you out there we are grateful to be able to serve and learn from.  

I’m really interested in your thoughts and opinions on this.  I’m here to help.

“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, serving 8700+ clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog. 

His Ground Rules for Great Dogs is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step process so that your dog understands what you expect of him, you empower him to be able to give you the behavior you want and you empower him to be successful at living in a human home.

4 replies
  1. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Eleanor. The statement in my article is a general statement about most behaviors. However, some behavior problem needs to be looked at separately and addressed with the appropriate plan of action.

  2. Eleanor Minturn
    Eleanor Minturn says:

    Hello, Mr Burwell

    HELP-My two year old cocker dog has always felt very secure in his crate.
    I have decided he must love it too much. Recently he has acted
    aggressive to both his 11year old cocker dog brother
    and even me if we pass it when he is in it. ( Must emphasize he
    adores and trusts me.)He must be resource guarding it.
    NOW, HOW DO I OVERCOME THIS PROBLEM. From your article, I suppose
    that I should just IGNORE it. ( I should not say no or bad dog). Thanks.

  3. Becky
    Becky says:

    Excellent article. I continually need to remind myself that my dogs are animals and love to live with rules. Whenever I re-focus on this concept, the dogs seem more content to be with themselves and not demand my continuous attention.

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