If you’re like most other dog owners with dog behavior problems, you’re looking for a quick and easy trick that will improve your dog’s behavior.

What I’m about to share with you has to do with habits because we are all creatures of habit. We do things subconsciously. It happened to Leila the other day.

She was laughing at herself one day when I called in to the office to and found out that the power company was putting in new telephone poles and had cut off the power to do the work.

Leila was laughing because as she had been going from room to room, she automatically (subconsciously) turned on the light switches in every room she entered. It was just automatic. It was a habit.

That got me to thinking about habits we get into with our dogs about which we don’t even think. That automatic habit is petting your dog. Now think about it for a minute.

You’re sitting on the couch and your dog jumps up and gets in your lap and you begin to pet your dog. It’s just automatic. It’s a habit.

This is how many dogs get over protective  like I wrote about in my past article and creates other problems as well.

On Facebook I recently mentioned that “The dog that misses it’s owner too much when they are away (usually because of too much doting) produces the widest range of problem behaviors; barking, destructive chewing, separation anxiety, house soiling — just to name a few.

So here’s the one simple trick

Love your dog in moderation. Let me repeat that. Love your dog in moderation.

Loving your dog to excess creates problems that can sometimes be difficult to fix, not always but many times. It’s like eating ice cream. It’s good but should be eaten in moderation. Wine is great but should be enjoyed in moderation.

In fact anything done to an extreme or taken in excess for extended periods of time will eventually lead to problems. If you really think about it moderation is the key to lasting enjoyment with anything – including loving your dog.

Other Recommendations

I would have to say that there should be a few more rules that support that one simple trick. Let’s take a look at what also helps.

• Pet your dog on your terms, not on your dog’s terms and not every time he asks

• Ask for a simple sit before you pet your dog and then briefly pet your dog (in moderation)

• Require a sit before getting on the couch begin to require as much time off the couch as he is on the couch (in moderation)

• Keep your dog on the couch seat not on your lap all the time (moderation)

If your habit of heavy petting seems like a good habit, look a little closer and see if your dog is developing a dog behavior problem because of the habit you’ve been doing (be honest with yourself).

Modify your habit as you think about doing it in “moderation” and remember this: You control all the elements in your dog’s environment that produce these problems. What does that tell you? You have the power to change everything as well! It all starts with you.

When you change, your dog will change.

So, come tell me on Facebook
 what you think? I truly hope you found answers and hope for helping your dog. Did you think the fix would be this easy?


“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”


Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad. Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.

His Ground Rules for Great Dogs is your must have, easy step-by-step process to helping your dog. Be the dog owner your dog needs to be a great dog. Ground Rules gets you there. Grab them now.

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