Handle with Care

Published on: September 21st, 2011

1. Do not hold or “love”  dogs: Dogs are not children and cannot reason that invasions of their personal space are OK. Though it’s hard not to, holding and hugging encourages bad behavior and confuses the dog by holding and coddling them before they’re comfortable.

2. Ignore the dog’s presence: Walk around the house with the dog on the leash and do your normal activities. Feed the dog a treat every now and then without making a big deal to associate positive feelings with your routine, the leash and the house.

3. Don’t look, touch or talk: Looking in the eyes and touching, especially while talking, can convey a threat to your dog. If you must have a conversation with the dog, do it while looking at your computer screen or the wall without disturbing your dog.

4. Let the dog take the relationship lead: When your dog is ready to transition into a more comfortable relationship with you, he or she will make it apparent by choosing to spend more time with you or allowing you to behave in ways that were initially unacceptable. This may take anywhere from months to more than a year, so be patient.

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