A Healthy Dog/Owner Relationship
A Healthy Dog Owner Relationship
Some dog lovers might consider it heresy to suggest that their beloved K9s just may be more than a bit pampered today. But consider objectively for a moment the facts. Dogs, in numerous instances, are regarded as full-fledged family members, viewed as "children" with virtually all the benefits accorded human kids.
Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing untoward with making your dog a member of your family, that is the commitment you should have made in becoming an owner. What seems amiss, to me, is the extremes to which many take it. For example:
Letting your dog share your bed at night.
Allowing him/her to beg at your dinner table.
Dressing him/her in silly costumes to celebrate various holidays.
Visits to doggie spas for special occasions.
Such babying goes way beyond what should comprise a normal, loving dog/owner relationship. Your dog is, after all, a dog...not a human being. Considered in that context, your dog is a member of the pack, and you are the pack leader, the "Alpha Dog," as it were. Once that relationship has been firmly established, the family dog can take and be happy with his/her proper place in your family.
Of course, none of that means you can't love and profusely affection your dog, or have lots of fun things to enjoy together. It simply means that affectations that overly exaggerate your dog's role in the family's social structure should probably be avoided.