One of the special things in my relationship with dogs are our Sweet Moments. The warm times, where we share gentle and mutual affection with each other.
One of the biggest things stressed during training to prepare owners for success at home, in particular with dogs who have behavioral issues, are setting boundaries. There is necessary application of non- negotiable boundaries, discipline, rules, and accountability to help create a shift in the relationship with a dog to take a dog who is practicing behaviors we don’t want (over excitement, aggression, anxiety, territorial tendencies, fear, etc). But I know it can be so hard to look ahead at the first 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, or 90 days with your dog and visualize how to make all of those important changes, while still sharing companionship and affection with our loved pet.
My best advice is to share Sweet Moments. Moments mean they are there, they are special, but they are limited – these moments aren’t happening all of the time.
Sweet moments are genuine and rewarding periods of affection and adoration between you and your dog.
But the most important part is that they arn’t happening ALL the time. Smothering, spoiling, pampering, over accommodating, too much freedom with unearned affection, and being loose on rules or boundaries are not the same as Sweet Moments. Those dynamics make the majority of your relationship with your dog unbalanced, moving your progress in the wrong direction, by often unintentionally reinforcing and empowering behaviors you are actually wanting to correct.
Sweet Moments are evenly and appropriately balanced with boundaries, rules, and leadership – to create a teamwork effort where your dog looks to you for direction. They move your relationship and your dog’s behaviors and choices in the right direction.
Please, share and enjoy your Sweet Moments – they are lovely and special. And then think about all the other interactions with your dog, and decide if they are helping or hurting your progress and their ability to look at you as a leader, instead of a soft pamperer:)