Owing your personal space

Have you ever had a dog push you over by leaning on you, claw your arm when pawing at you or trip you when he walks between or under your feet? These examples can vary from highly annoying to dangerous. Imagine being knocked down the stairs because your dog chose that moment to lean against the back of your legs. Or perhaps you are watching TV with your kids and your dog paws at you for some attention but misses your arm and paws a young child in the face?! Disaster! So what can we do to minimize these potentially troublesome events? Own your personal space. Teach you dog that he or she does not have the right to demand attention from you. So what does that look like? Owning your personal space means not allowing your dog to enter your personal ‘bubble’ without being invited in. Think of it like this, you’re standing in line at the grocery store to pay for your groceries and the stranger behind you leans against your back and puts their chin on your shoulder… weird, right? Inappropriate… right? The same is true if a dog does this to you (chin on your leg under the supper table?!). For human beings, allowing someone into our personal space is the way we express love and affection… by offering intimacy and vulnerability. Dogs don’t see it this way. To a dog, when you show vulnerability they feel compelled to start taking control because after all, in a dog’s mind, a strong leader is not vulnerable. Dogs need a strong leader to give them direction in all situations in order to feel safe and calm. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give affection to your dog but what I am saying is that you should do it on your terms and if your dog has earned it. So, if you invite your dog in for a hug... or a selfie (LOL!😂) that’s ok. But if your dog leans on you or paws at you demanding the attention, that’s not ok. You have control of your personal space… not your dog. Happy training my friends!!!

Kristen Cameron