Why Your Dog is like Justin Bieber… DC Dog Trainer Blog

Why your dog is like Justin Bieber…DC Dog Trainer Blog

Let’s Put a Comparison Side by Side Why Your Dog Is Like Justin Bieber

YOUR DOG

JUSTIN BIEBER

Your dog is furry and soft and can be used as a pillow in a pinch

Justin Bieber has hair that looks like a pillow

Your dog steals your heart – you have pictures of him on your phone, your Facebook page and Instagram

Young girls have lockers and walls covered with hearts all over his picture.  They follow him religiously on Social Media

You spend your days wondering when you can go home and cuddle with your dog

Girls cuddle up with pillows and images of Justin and dream of him showing up on their doorstep

Your dog misbehaves and you think it’s cute

Justin Bieber misbehaves and it’s okay because he’s cute

Your dog barks and you don’t tell him to stop

Justin Bieber sings and I wish he would stop

Your dog pulls you down the street and you think it’s a good thing

Justin Bieber drag races down the street in Miami and his dad thought it was a good idea

Your dog should be microchipped

Justin Bieber has tattoos

Maybe your dog isn’t exactly like Justin Bieber; but I think I make enough of a case here that they are pretty darn close. Bad behavior, whether for your dog or Justin Bieber, is often excused because we think they are cute, doesn’t matter that they could potentially hurt themselves or someone else. Any dog that pulls on a leash can potentially pull an owner down or trip them up (speaking from experience here, my pre-dog trainer lifetime).   A dog that endlessly barks is disturbing your neighbors, upsetting other dogs, causing you stress and anxiety, but it is making your dog stressed out. Every time you look at your dog and only see the cute face and excuse the behaviors you are only making things harder on your dog.

I don’t think Justin Bieber started out a bad kid. Rather, I think that he has made a lot of poor choices because he was never taught to do anything else. He does whatever makes him happy.  There are no boundaries (remember the monkey incident in Germany?) and he doesn’t understand that the conventional rules of society apply to him as well as everyone else. Egging a neighbor’s house? Sounds like a great idea. Or how about the idea that a drag race down a main street in Miami is “fun” despite the potential risks to everyone around. Most surprising to me is that his father was there and let him do the deed. Who is really to blame here? The one who did the action because they could or the one that was so permissive that his child could only be set up for failure in the long term?  Justin does have the ability to rationalize things and should know better, but why bother thinking when it’s so much more fun to do what you want?

This is exactly what happens with our dogs. There are lots of rules in the world, but how is your dog supposed to know them? Hmmm, so what’s a dog to do? Figure out what they can get away with and keep pushing the boundaries and define the rules to their liking.  Dogs don’t know something is bad until it’s not. I have clients that have let their dogs pee in the house for years, and now don’t want it to happen.  Well how is a dog to know that it’s kind of disgusting to do that unless we teach them otherwise?  If your dog is anxious or stressed, well barking at strangers, other dogs, really just about anything makes them feel better in some small way.

But catering to your dog all the time only contributes to more bad behavior. It can lead to the point where owners can no longer tolerate the behavior. This is when dogs show up in shelters as owner surrenders for behavioral issues. Or when owners decide to re-home their dog because they are at a breaking point. These are serious issues.

Excusing your dog every time they nip, a bark, peeing or pooping in the house you are not helping your dog be successful in the world. I would much rather see a world without drag racing down the street or dogs barking and lunging or walking their owners. Then we can all succeed together.