Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pooches: How Do you Balance Discipline with Pet Happiness?

When it comes to our pooches, A and I have completely different styles.
A is all about routine and enforcing rules. She gets to be the 'bad cop'.
But I really believe it's important for the pups to always be happy. And as the 'good cop' I'm the most fun to be around.
A always keeps strict rules and is consistent about not letting the pups on the furniture. She believes that letting them on the outdoor furniture is a 'gateway drug' for the pooches to start laying on our sofas and eventually onto our beds without permission.
But in the summer, I love laying with the pups on the outdoor furniture. I think it makes us all happier, and they wouldn't possibly abuse this privilege at a later time.
Miss M is very treat motivated, which makes her fairly easy to train, but since she is so treat motivated, she gets too excited and becomes pushy and mouthy when taking treats from people.
For these reasons, A will not let Miss M receive treats from anyone. I, on the other hand, love to make Miss M the happiest princess around and let anyone and everyone shower her with treats, which probably reinforces her bad behavior.
In the past I bought the pooches antlers to chew on because they enjoy them. Though on our last vet visit we realized it wasn't the best idea because the pooches chipped several of their teeth. Ever since the antlers, A is against giving the pooches anything to chew on, including beef knuckle bones that our pooches love so much.
Much to A's dismay, I let the pooches chew on a beef knuckle bone for a few minutes here and there when A isn't around...well not anymore since I will be found out in this post...
I think the issue is at what point does our pooches' happiness outweigh the detrimental effects of something, especially in senior dogs. 
Also, do most homes have a good cop and a bad cop?

Also:
Remember this "controversy"?
But can she ever be happy?
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25 comments:

Liz @ The Shrinking Owl said...

My now-ex and I have/had this issue. I am the disciplinarian like A: table scraps are TREATS, not a given. Bones are TREATS, not a given.

My ex? He would get Bella her own Jr. Roast Beef or small fries at the drive-thru. After she went to the vet in March and they said she was chunky, I had a little "come to Jesus" talk with him.

Coco's Mommy said...

My Coco loves her antler...never had a problem with chipped teeth, but I know I am flirting with disaster!

adventuresofadogmom said...

We most certainly have a good cop/bad cop situation in our house and I'm sure you can already guess... I'm the bad cop and my hubby the good cop.

And, as far as antlers and things like that go we don't do it in our house because of chipped teeth and disagreements on who gets to chew what.

But, that doesn't mean we don't spoil the pups and let them have fun, there is play time every single night. And, just last night a car ride, a walk and a few licks of ice cream!

Sassamadoo said...

I used to swear by giving my dogs antlers...and then I saw this:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152797495620581&set=a.10150152949845581.410615.118978735580&type=3&permPage=1

zookeeper3 said...

Since we have young-ish children as well as dogs we work fairly hard on discipline. We also have visitors fairly often so good behavior is important because I am not a person who likes to "put my dogs away" when we have company. But there is also lots of family snuggling on the BED, licking the ice cream bowl when I am done, and bacon after Sunday breakfast. Maybe its just he personality of our dogs, but they do not seems to use the treats as a gateway. Although I can sometimes see the spot on our bed where Cooper and Nora have been sleeping when I am out of the house.......

hermyrsaf said...

Well, I'm the only 'pet parent' in my house so I've learned to be better at discipline. My own dog is a pittie, and I foster senior dogs, usually have 4-5 (and work full-time). Seniors are generally easier to manage and require less exercise. I do allow the pets on the furniture and bed, but have to be fairly strict about meal time to avoid squabbles. Most of the dogs come from shelters and many are permanent fosters due to their age, so for us fosters at Old Dog Haven it's about giving them the best quality of life in the time they have left. Still, with multiple dogs there have to be some rules to keep everyone happy. I also have 3 cats, and they do whatever they want :)

Callie's Mom said...

Ha, yes I'm the "bad" cop and hubby is wonderful fun "good" cop daddy!! Now with two in the house we're dealing with a little jealousy from both and I deal with it directly while he feels bad and just wants everyone to be happy!

As an aside, I found out little Gus did not like his Frosty Paws....I'm hoping he changes his mind about it because it's a great treat and Callie's hips don't need that much ice cream!

Mr. Pip said...

This is a very funny post. We don't have a good cop/bad cop. Pip always focused on me. He pretty much ignores everyone else. When he was younger we were a bit more displined though nowhere near A. Now that he is 15 and nearing the end he pretty much does what he wants. The rules have definitely changed because he is just not able to do some of the things he used to do and his comfort and happiness in these final days is most important.

Kristin (pip's assistant)

P.S it would be fun to see a follow up post after A reads this ...lol

Lar said...

I'm going to go against the tide and admit that at home, my husband is the bad cop and I let them get away with a lot of stuff he doesn't allow. Now, to be honest, we DO spoil our dogs. They are allowed on the furniture, and sleep in bed with us. But I can't resist their charms when they want to be petted and loved, and he says I should be firm and let them know there is a time and place for it. My response: "Every place and all the time is the right time for puppy-love!"

In all seriousness, we spoil within limits. We are very careful to keep them safe all the time. I just happen to be more forthcoming with special treatment.

Taylor G said...

I definitely have to play bad cop otherwise Mugsy would rule the house. I am the trainer and Shannon will agree that all Mugsy's good behaviors come from my training (which isn't saying much). However, we both have a soft spot for him around the dinner table and on furniture. I started by not allowing him up on furniture but he was too cute to resist and so he has free reign. The only place he still isn't allowed is our bed, even though he will try to sneak up there when no one is looking.

Tannia G. said...

Thanks for the confessions E, this post was so funny, I'm sitting at my desk just laughing out loud. My boyfriend thinks I'm insane for allowing Luna on the furniture but to be honest it's probably more me than her that wants to snuggle. So in our case it's me who is being spoiled.

Rachel @ My Two Pitties said...

Well, being that I am not sharing ownership of my dogs with anyone else, I guess I am a good cop and bad cop in one! I am very strict about no people food for them and no treats without earning it and expecting them to be patient and have manners, etc. But I do let them on furniture because I love and adore cuddling and sleeping with them:)

I am a bit of a control freak though and I flip on anyone in the house who doesn't make them follow the same rules I do!

Maggie said...

Oh, we totally have this going on! John thinks dogs should only have dog food and dog treats. I think they should have a bite of whatever I'm eating (the non-toxic stuff, of course). So I share! At this point, he's given up asking me not to share, but requests not at the table, which I oblige. Same thing with furniture, play time, chews, everything! I think they deserve whatever will make them happy!

Ashley June said...

Absolutely loved this post. I am typically a silent reader, but this one hit right on the spot of my bad cop and my husband as the good cop. While it does lead to a little confusion for my pup, I truly believe that my rules make her more feel more secure and sure of herself and us in the end while my husband allows for the free time. :)

c.creativity said...

We've loosened up a bit at our house now that our dog is 10+ years. She has a sensitive tummy, so for years we gave her the absolute minimum when it came to treats. Now we've decided that after she's gone, we'd be much more sorry that we didn't let her have a few sunflower seeds or some pieces of cereal or a pasta bow tie than if we let her! And she's now allowed up on the beds. She's such a good girl, though, that she has her own rules that are more strict than ours, so there hasn't been any creeping into bad behavior.

K-Koira said...

I really weigh the good and the bad things. I don't give my dogs beef bones or antlers, because of tooth chipping issues. I DO give them lamb or pork bones, which are softer, or bully sticks, to let them chew on something fun.

But, since I live alone, I have to play both good and bad cop, all the time.

sweetemaline said...

I am usually the good cop - Daniel is the bad cop. I think you always have to have a little bit of both! :)

Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie
www.ourwaldobungie.com

Courtney said...

Chaos was definitely spoiled in some ways. Anytime he wanted attention, he got it (from me, anyway). But he was never allowed on the furniture (and never tried to get on it), so that was a non-issue. He also got lots of goodies (but I had to be careful because of his sensitive tummy).

Amanda Winmark said...

I like your blog and loved it on blogionaire.com

2 Punk Dogs said...

I tend to be 'good cop' while the Mr. is 'bad cop'. I do make them work for treats, but I tend to give them more treats, even if they're only baby carrots, pasta or green beans. I take them on longer walks, while he tends to do the shorter bathroom breaks.
They've taken over the larger wing of the couch, but they will use the dogs bed when we want to stretch out on the couch. None of the animals sleep in the bedroom with us at night because the bed isn't big enough for everyone. :)

Two French Bulldogs said...

We think as long as you continue to reinforce all the good, you are A-ok
Snorts,
Benny & Lily

Emily said...

Our vet scolded us for letting Hades chew nylabones so much because he had chipped several teeth. Braylon chews just as often and her teeth are in great shape--I think he just has bad teeth and would have chipped them somehow no matter what.
I will admit I don't give my pups enough rules and everyone seems to say rules make for a balanced dog. They certainly don't run wild but I am not a strict disciplinarian.

Hannah@Eriesistibull said...

Sam and I are a little bit of both in different departments. I'm more strict about the pooches giving people food, but Sam is more strict in other respects.

Hannah@Eriesistibull said...

oh, and our pooches chew antlers, but we keep it limited. As Tess just recently chipped a tooth, I'm trending to believe that they were ghee culprit!

Jacquelin Cangro said...

Sorry you've been found out!
But I'm glad you mentioned that the pooches chipped some teeth eating the deer antlers. I'd suspected that's what happened to Reggie but never had the evidence to confirm it.
No more antlers in my house either. :(

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