Impact of Spoiling
For me there is nothing wrong with spoiling your dog with expensive food, leashes, jackets, beds and other material things when you fulfill the dogs psychological needs to be a calm, confident dog.
“Spoil me Financially, Not Psychologically”
Unfortunately a lot of the dogs we work with have owners (by no fault of their own) enforce no manners, no rules or limits on the dog’s behavior due to lack of education. The result is an overstimulated, insecure and sometimes entitled, spoiled dog.
Feeling insecure or entitled is not natural for a dog and creates a lot of stress and responsibility. An example is allowing your dog to walk infront of you. When the dog is infront of you, he is forced into the leadership role where he feels his job is to patrol the area and decide what is safe and what is not for the pack.
Other behaviours you may see is the dog becoming possessive of a family member where they gain status and put themselves between the family member and others, often growling when someone approaches. You may also see the dog start growling or lunging when getting petted if the dog does not want to be petted or when the dog has an item and growls when you try to take the item away.
Have a relationship with your dog where training is just a part of that lifestyle…like parenting…
Think of it like raising a child. If your child was never told no and was never stopped when they behaved badly you would have a spoiled entitled child that throws tantrums when they don’t get what they want, and they hit and yell at their parents. Dogs that are given no boundaries become mouthy, demanding and aggressive, claiming everything as its own, including its owner.
“The Earlier you Get Training Help the Easier”
If you cannot train your dog on your own, find professional help. Once you’ve trained your dog and their psychological needs are fulfilled, go out and buy that fabulous dog coat you have been eyeing and spend the extra money on the matching leash and collar. Buy him that special treat, have a birthday party for him. This is not spoiling your dog. He can be the best dressed dog in town as long as he acts like a polite mannered dog.