Is your dog spoiled? It’s pretty hard not to spoil your pet when you love them so much. Just like children, if your dog is treated too much like royalty, you will have a high-maintenance terror on your hands. As your dog gets older, it becomes more difficult to break them of their behaviors. To decide if they need a bit more obedience training and less spoiling, read the five assessments below. Answering yes to all of the following is a for sure sign your pup is spoiled!

1. Is your dog overweight?

One way to extremely spoil your dog is to overfeed it by giving them too many treats and “people food.” Not encouraging any exercise on top of overfeeding makes for one lazy, obese dog. Do not be tempted to reward your pet for every time they do something good. Sometimes a pat on the head or belly rub can be good enough. If your dog does not respond to affection and is very food-motivated, then keep using the treats for training but make them smaller. Cut out “people food,” altogether, or change it to just vegetables and lean protein. If your pet REFUSES to go on walks – due to their obesity – then start them out slow with very short walks at first. Reward them with healthy snacks like carrots, and then slowly work your way up to longer walks. Hopefully, they will not only lose the extra pounds but get used to walking on a leash. Your dog will eventually learn to love it!

2. Does your dog only like you? 

Another sign that your dog is perhaps spoiled is that it only behaves when it is around you. Does your pet growl, snap or lunge at other people every time you take it somewhere, but is super friendly to you? This behavior could be just a personality trait. Still, most of the time, it’s because the owner did not socialize their pet correctly. To socialize your pet, try incorporating them into your lifestyle so that they expose themselves to different types of people, places, and situations. By socializing your dog, they only learn to trust you and no one else. If your dog is too dependent on you, it could develop separation anxiety due to its inability to function without you.

3. Is your dog misbehaving for no reason?

Does your dog randomly relieve themselves in your home, at your office, or someone else’s house, even though they know better? Randomly marking in restricted areas is more of a common problem among smaller dogs. Still, it also happens among larger breeds as well. Does your dog chew and rip your house? If simple routines for your dog like feeding, going to the bathroom, sleeping, and going for walks wasn’t taught to your dog early on, then you created a dangerous precedent! Your pup thinks that it can do whatever it wants when it wants. This usually leads to them peeing and pooping wherever they want. You should instill a sense of authority in your pet early on; otherwise, they will become a brat down the road.

4. Is your pet not responding to simple commands?

Dogs can quickly learn to respond to their names. If your pet continually doesn’t respond to its name, they may just be ignoring you. Your dog should also know basic commands on how to sit, stay, and lay down. Dogs that don’t listen to your leadership may not have ever been trained properly or are acting out. Dangle a small healthy treat in front of them as you speak the command, and you will discover if it’s not knowing or behavioral. 

5. Does your dog have a better wardrobe than you do?

Does your dog have more outfits than you? Are you shelling out more money on your pet than you do to yourself? If so, then this could be a problem. Merely putting your pets’ needs before your own, like specialized care, food, or regular vet visits, is admirable. However, if your spending budget is going towards endless outfits, accessories, and other unnecessary stuff, you should reevaluate your priorities. Does your pup actually need a different outfit for every day of the week? No. Do you need to dish out hundreds of dollars to throw a birthday party for your dog, or book a fancy photoshoot? No! Your dog will look adorable in that reindeer costume this Christmas, that’s a given. But do they need the Christmas tree, Santa and elf costume as well?

When it is all said and done, training your pet and providing them with a sense of authority will keep them from becoming a spoiled pup. It may seem hard at first when you have to punish your dog for doing something wrong, but trust me, you will be doing your best friend a favor in the long run. They will have a much-needed structure and routine to their lives, and you will have a more relaxed and less stressful bond with your pet. Also, training your dog to respond to your commands can potentially save their life in a dangerous situation. Training is essential for everyone involved, get out there, and be a proper dog dad or dog mom!