Depending on the problems you’re having, affection is a powerful tool that can assist or hinder your dog. Dog owners unknowingly reward a lot of undesirable behavior by giving affection at the wrong times. If you have a dog that’s being oblivious to your boundaries, disrespectful, insecure, or aggressive, then giving affection tends to reinforce that negative state of mind. To help your dog be more successful we recommend using affection very selectively to improve your dog’s behavior. As such we exclusively reserve affection for calmness or following commands.
When it comes to couch time or sharing your bed, if you have a dog that’s challenging you in any way or being disrespectful, then access to furniture sends mixed messages about your relationship. If your dog is growling at anyone , jumping on people, or resource guarding, then allowing couch time or sleeping in your bed instills a sense of entitlement and empowerment that leads to bad choices.
The goal in limiting affection is to make it as easy as possible for your dog to make mindful choices. First let’s get the behavior we’re looking for, then we can reward that with affection. If we start to notice bratty or entitled behavior again, then we must be more conscientious of the affection we’re giving our dog.