Pet Parenting Styles

Pet Parenting Styles

Just for fun…

Here’s something fun to do…. Take a look at these parenting styles of pet Mom and Dad’s and see if you can relate… They are a little extreme, but that’s the fun part! Where do you fit in? Most likely, you will see yourself in several categories, and rightly so. That just means you’re a good doggie parent! A balance of all of these parenting styles is desirable for a contented, well-balanced, emotionally and mentally stable dog. Your parenting tendencies are reflected in your dog’s overall nature, or personality.

1) Indulgent

The Parents: These parents spare no expense for their fur-child. They may cook for their dog, but if not, she has the best food and treats money can buy. You may find toy-baskets in every room of their house just brimming with every dog toy imaginable. These parents pamper their dog… letting her sleep with them (even though she has her own canopied, jewel-adorned, velvet covered doggie bed), and insisting on the most elaborate spa treatments when visiting the groomer. Their dog may have its own wardrobe… raincoats, t-shirts, boots… and if she is tiny, may even be carried around in a fabric, designer carrier, or pushed in a stroller. These parents are generous, loving, doting and sometimes will succumb to giving too many treats or overfeeding. They may be overly-concerned with their dog’s health, rushing her to the vet at even the slightest change in demeanor.

The Dog: These dogs can be clingy and insecure. In their parent’s company, they appear secure and confident, but are unsure about managing on their own. On the plus side, these dogs know that they are loved but may sometimes take advantage of their parent’s generous nature.

2) Stern

The Parents: This disciplinarian type of parent began teaching a set of strict rules and commands from puppyhood. They always use a serious, firm voice with their dog and have zero tolerance for breaking the rules. They expect their dog to perform as instructed in any circumstance. When not engaged, their dog is expected to sit quietly awaiting his next cue. Although they love their dog, there is little show of affection… but sometimes treats are awarded for obedience. They are very proud of their dog and take pleasure in his displays of obedience in the presence of other people.

The Dog: These dogs can have a soldier-like demeanor, and can be overly focused on their owners. They are sometimes unable to fully enjoy life due to a rigid set of rules engrained in them from puppyhood. Sometimes appearing nervous, their inner-dog seriously needs some time-off.

3) Liberal

The Parents: These parents let their dog get away with just about anything. They may teach them some basic rules like how to go potty outside, and… um… well, okay, so they know one rule, but aside from that, the sky is the limit. These parents rarely attempt to control unwanted behavior…they just chalk it up as a dog being a dog. Perhaps the fact that they walk their dogs on a leash is a form of control… even though it’s a 15-foot-long retractable, which they never retract, and their dogs are free to sniff any other dog and jump on people. These over-lenient parents wouldn’t think of considering badly-needed professional training for their dog. They sincerely love their dogs, but may be considered pushovers.

The Dog: The dog appears happy and carefree… bordering on “wildness”. He may have a mischievous glint in his eyes. He wants to please his owners, but with no structure or boundaries, he doesn’t know how. It’s frustrating for him as he unknowingly desires rules, training, and discipline.

4) Practical

The Parents: These parents think it’s silly to put clothes on a dog, push them in a stroller, or give them kisses. They believe a dog is to be treated well, but has its place in the home. They firmly believe she is not to be treated as a human child and may even be considered an “outside” dog. Although very responsible, making sure their dog’s physical and medical needs are met, they don’t go overboard. They usually shop for the least expensive, albeit safe and comfortable, accommodations when boarding their dog, giving little thought to frills. Although they do care for their dog, they are not “doting” parents.

The Dog: Dogs with “practical” parents may be detached and self-reliant. They depend on their humans for basic needs only. They may somewhat deny their need for affection, and are uncharacteristically content with the status quo.

5) Embracing

The Parents: These parents would never consider a family outing without their 4-legged children. They consider their dog a very “human” part of the family. They often enroll their dog in professional training as young pup, and make a special effort to provide them with lots of socialization. Their dog is allowed on the furniture, hangs out in the kitchen at meal time (often enjoying a few treats from the table), and has his own seat in the family car. These parents always want their dog to be included… whether it’s, going on vacation, or visiting friends and family. They make sure their dog has presents under the Christmas tree. They talk to their dog just as they would anyone near them. Discussions about their dog brings a smile to their face.

The Dog: Dogs belonging to the embracing parents are probably the most balanced and happiest. As long as proper training and manners are taught, this type of upbringing is a win-win for everyone.

The Best of the Best

Now let’s mix it up a little… What are the best tendencies in each category? The “Indulgent” parent is right to insist on getting the very best food, treats, and medical attention that they can afford for their furbaby. The “Stern” parent knows the importance of proper Training, and we too recommend that it begins at puppyhood. Contact our Trainers for advice on the RIGHT way to train your dog. The “Liberal” parent knows it’s healthy for a dog to “just be a dog” sometimes! We should all acknowledge that inclination, within reason of course! A “Practical” parent may not be all mushy-gushy, but they are serious about meeting their dog’s needs. And lastly, you still might not want your dog on your furniture – and that’s okay, but you’ll have so much more enjoyment in life if you “embrace” more of the tendencies of the “Embracing” parent!

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