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Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: New Year, New Attitudes

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor

Whether you’ve had your dog for a long time or he’s a recent addition the new year can bring about some wonderful changes in attitude and behavior for your entire family!

20190928_103343564~2A dog reacts by instinct—he does not understand “spiteful behavior”, nor does he have the capacity for anger. If you bear this philosophy in mind you will not be so upset when he seems to display these signs.

When you assign human emotions to an animal you are practicing anthropomorphism. That is, you are treating your pet as though he were a human with all the associated capabilities.

Folks often say that they believe their dogs are jealous. Keep in mind that jealousy is a humans-only emotion. Recognize that pack hierarchy mimics the human characteristics of jealousy. For example, if Fido is growling at a member of his (animal) pack when you are paying attention only to that animal, he is attempting to keep his position in the hierarchy of your home. Likewise, if you show affection to one human family member and ignore Fido, he is liable to react by growling or grumbling. A firm, “No!” or “Leave it!” is called for under these circumstances! If the behavior persists you may need to consult a professional so that the behavior ceases.

Remember that a professional trainer or animal behavior consultant should never resort to physical corrections or encourage you to do so! Positive reinforcement and gentle but firm redirection is paramount to your dog’s well-being!

My book, Training Your Dog With Love and Compassion, is available on Amazon and can be ordered at any bookstore.

If you have questions about any dog-related issue, please email me at or call or text me at 856.981.8957. There is never a fee for an off-site consultation.

Wado udohiyu, (Thank you very much in the Cherokee language)

Dawn O Watson

Owner, Brother of the Wolf, LLC

Pictured: Chucha, wishing everyone a happy holiday season!