Treat Your Dog Like A Kid | Dog Training – Greenville Dog Training

Treat Your Dog Like A Kid | Dog Training - Greenville Dog Training

Understanding Your Dog’s Perception


Yes, You Read That Right

Most people say, stop treating your dog like a kid…we say treat your dog like a kid!

We know you’re thinking, “Dogs are not people, they’re animals.” You’re absolutely right! They have different instincts than us as humans and it’s certainly important to recognize that. But dogs are pack animals, and to us humans, they’re domestic animals who become a part of our “pack.” 

It becomes equally as important that we teach them the right behavior, just as we would teach our kids. And this comes along with the responsibility to hold them accountable with their behavior.


What We Really Mean

If you have kids, you know the toddler stage can be pretty hectic. They’re sneaky, sometimes conniving, but overall they understand much more than they think we do.

Dogs have the IQ of a toddler, meaning they’re a lot smarter than we give them credit for

When we say, “treat your dog like a kid,” we mean it like this:

If your toddler was yelling at a guest that just came into your home and was trying to jump all over them, climbing up their legs because they wanted to be held, you probably wouldn’t just let it happen, right? You’d likely pull them back and say, “that’s not how we greet people.” If it’s someone they don’t know, then that behavior definitely isn’t appropriate. If it’s a family member such as Grandma or Grandpa, that behavior will come off a little rude and aggressive, because it could potentially hurt them.

We want to be able to show our children the right way to act around people, regardless of if it’s strangers or family. So if your dog was barking at someone who came to your door and began jumping all over them when they entered your home, you’d want to correct that bad behavior by teaching and role playing the right behavior. Which in turn helps them understand the proper way to handle themselves.


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A Common Mistake | Verbal Isn’t Enough 

The most typical thing we see dog owners doing is just verbally telling their dog to “stop.”

Your dog isn’t going to understand verbal warnings without role playing through the correct behavior they should actually be exhibiting instead.

This goes back to the above example with a toddler greeting company at the door.

When you just tell a toddler to stop, they may quit doing what they’ve been doing, but they’re not going to understand how to correct that behavior just from a verbal communication. They’ll eventually do that exact behavior again.

We want to teach them how to greet a person properly by saying, “Hi my name is —” or “Hello” and being still as respectful as they enter. This is teaching them how to have overall politeness and social etiquette.  Similarly, when we go to pull back our dog from jumping on someone or barking at them when they come through the door, we would correct that behavior in the same manor by physically showing them what is acceptable.


Hold Your Dog Accountable | Use A Leash

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Have you ever seen those backpack leashes for children? Although using a leash on your dog and having your child on a backpack leash aren’t 100% comparable, (because dogs are animals and kids are humans) their underlying purpose is the same. They’re meant to be a safe way to help correct bad behavior and keep everyone safe.

Using a leash on your dog, even while inside, will allow you to immediately right their wrongs as soon as they happen. It will also be easier during training to role play scenarios to exhibit said good behavior.

It’s  important that we hold our dogs to the same accountability as we hold our kids and even ourselves. You wouldn’t reward your dog with a treat just because you have it in your hand, right? They’d need to do something respectful for it. Just as you wouldn’t reward a child for marching into the kitchen and demanding a piece of candy. Your answer would be, “we don’t reward that kind of behavior.” Followed by explaining and showing them how to politely ask for something.



Our goal in life is for you to have a better household with your dog. That can mean many different things to different people, but we know one common denominator remains: a house of CALM. So yes, we say TREAT YOUR DOG LIKE A KID! If your child has consequences for bad behavior, your dog should too. If they have positive rewards for good behavior, your dog should too. Hold them accountable and life will be a piece of cake!



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