Build a Healthy Relationship with Your Dog


Special to The Insider

During the years of training pets, I have found one thing that keeps balance and positivity. This key to success is basic and does not take a psychology degree or a trainer’s subjective opinion to master. Humans just can’t live without this: relationships.

Your relationship with your pet is the best indicator of their environment. Most pets that I see have great attitudes and are bold. Some are from a past that is unknown and can have some fear. The best thing about a positive relationship is that both temperaments can thrive.

Many of the pet owners I see have pets that come through the door excited and bold. A bold puppy can be exhausting to the new owner. This temperament will take structure and some consequences for unwanted behavior.

Bold can manipulate and be very independent. This is a very fun personality trait and can be manageable with standards set up right from the start. Your relationship will be best by balancing some discipline and fun.

To maintain your relationship and sanity, start quickly teaching the puppy how to learn with positive reinforcement or treats, touch, vocal praise and all that good stuff. If discipline is needed, use their wants against them. If they want outside, build some focus at the doorway before just opening the door. The bold puppy will just run out the door with all kinds of excitement and forget you are even there. Your relationship will be better by applying some rules. 

The shy temperament may need a little more attention to detail in new environments. Many owners get caught up in being very attentive when the puppy is uncertain, and this is understanding. We want to protect them.

If the puppy is safe and is not in trouble, be cautious on cuddling and trying to make everything okay. Many times, this behavior will reassure the puppy that being scared is okay and will only build a relationship where the puppy looks to the human for reassurance.

Your relationship with your puppy can be very positive if we allow this temperament to not rely on the owner. A pet that can experience positivity through feeling these emotions for themselves and nothing negative happening will only further their relationship with the human and themselves.

Yes, these two basic temperaments can be blended in many ways. Understanding your pet can help your relationship blossom into what we all anticipate. There will always be challenges just like human relationships. Be balanced and try to build upon positivity.

Copeland is the owner of Seven Lakes Kennels