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Why you don't need to be firmer with your pet

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January 2024

Why You Don’t Need To Be Firmer With Your Pet

Many people I speak to about their pet’s behaviour mention worrying about doing the right thing with how their pet lives alongside them. They ask if they need to be firmer with their pet.

So, if this is you and you worry about whether you should be letting your pet on the sofa, giving them ‘human’ food, spoiling them, or whether you’re a soft touch, here’s the truth…

The honest truth about why you don’t need to be firmer with your pet?

It’s totally ok to have a relationship with your pet that you feel happy with. If you want to let them on the sofa with you, do it! If you want to spoil them, do it! (as long as it’s a safe and healthy situation for all).

But, it’s also ok to set boundaries if you want them. This can be done with kind training, where it’s clear to your pet what’s ok and what isn’t and which takes into account the experience your pet is having (we want it to be a good one!).

Any talk about dominance, being firm and taking the lead ignores the experience pets have with us and the importance of building a mutual relationship.

So, don’t let anyone tell you you’re a soft touch, or you need to be firmer with your pet, or make you feel uncomfortable about the choices you’ve made.

Plus, if you’re told something, given advice, or watch something that gives you an uncomfortable feeling in your gut, then listen to that feeling, because its probably you feeling empathy with your pet and that’s not something to ignore.

Our pets dont need firmness, they need understanding, the ability to be what they are (a dog or cat!) and the opportunity to learn to understand us and us them!

Build a mutual relationship with your pet

Pets don’t misbehave on purpose, they act based on lots of different factors. Basically, behaviour is complex! So, rather than expecting them to fit in alongside us, let’s concentrate on giving them the best experiences possible and live a content life alongside them.

Your relationship with your pet is important, their experiences matter, and so do yours.

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