It is widely believed that throughout our dogs’ lives, they could be equated to a 2 year old child. A human 2 year old generally is excited to learn, enjoys simple things, and has to be supervised when you are out and about. This is generally true with adult dogs too. But this belief has its limitations. Mainly, a dog is a different species and has a different language or way of communicating. I think it is fine to equate Skippy with a human 2 year old to gain a better understanding of dogs but in no way should we be treating him like a human.
One major thing I see when people humanize their dog is spanking or hitting them when they do something undesirable. After all, many people do this to their kids to correct them. However, this is not how dogs communicate. It was thought years ago that this pain inducing method was a way to train a dog and that is no longer the case. Nowadays, we train dogs to get a reward because studies have shown that this is the way dogs learn best.
Also, I see people yelling at their dogs. After all, we also do this to our kids. People don’t realize that to your dog, yelling can be just like barking to your canine. For instance, when I see a dog barking and reacting to a person on the other side of a fence, I see the owners yelling at Rover saying “come” or “Rover, stop.” At this point, the dog has crossed a threshold and any kind of yelling will send the message to the dog, “my owner is barking at this person, too.”
It’s always best to be a kind, calm and benevolent leader to your dog. If you are having these types of issues, call a certified trainer like myself so I can show you a better alternative to yelling or hitting and most of all, let me show you how to communicate effectively with your dog.