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Is it Possible to Give My Dog Too Much Affection?

We were up revisiting a client that we had installed a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence about a month ago.  We were following up on the dog training and she was so happy because all of our work was invisible by her fence and the dog containment training was great.  Since she knew we were also Dog Behavior Trainers, she had a new question for us.  “I am always petting petting my dog, picking him up, talking to him in a high voice, and giving him kisses and hugs…  Is that ok?


As dog behavioral trainers, we have been asked this question hundreds of times.  There are times where our dog client might not ask the question, but we see it anyway.  To be quite honest, it is possible to give your dog too much love and affection.  The problem comes down to the differences between us and our dogs.

As people, we crave for all the affection we can get.  We love it when people say good things about us, we are always in need of a hug.  We comfort our small children when we are leaving them.  In some countries, it is custom to give kisses on the the cheeks when people greet each other.  Since our dog is so cute and lovable, we naturally shower him with kisses and hugs.

This is absolutely the wrong thing to do.  When we give our dog too much lovable attention, we are sending him a signal that we may not be the leader that will always protect him. Remember, the very top thing that our dog wants in life is to feel safe.  If properly trained, he looks to us as his leader who will provide him with that safety.  As strong leaders, we are firm, calm, resolute, and consistent. Our dog should be looking towards us to provide him the leadership he needs to stay safe.

If we are constantly giving our dog all that “hugs & kisses” stuff, we are sending him the signal that he is the boss.  If we are picking him up to cuddle, we are giving him dominance and surrendering our leadership.  We are telling him that he must be the Alpha Canine Leader of the pack.  This will normally lead to bad behavior such as jumping, annoying barking, not listening, nipping, and separation anxiety.

You can give your dog affection, just don’t go overboard with it.  If your dog is a small dog, don’t pick him up all the time.  He has four feet, he can walk.  For more information, please contact us at The Best Out of Sight Fence Dog Trainers in Wellington Florida.