We have spoiled our dog. There is no question. When we thought she was dying, we spoiled her absolutely. We gave her whatever she wanted. We catered to her every whim. That was over three years ago. And she is still alive and kicking. Now when there is food anywhere within smelling distance, she sniffs it out and barks until she receives some of the food. That goes for food that is on the stove, in the oven, in a bag brought into the house, or on the counter.
She stands beneath the food and barks. And we try to ignore her. We tell her no. But she is determined. And we usually give in and let her have at least some of that food. Now you may think this is a bad thing. And for doggy discipline, you would be right. It is.
When we were first married, our other dog, Joss, used to ram the side of the bed full speed over and over at 3:00 in the morning until my wife woke up and fed her. When I saw that she was feeding Joss, I asked, “Why in the world are you feeding her?” She replied, “It makes her stop ramming the side of the bed.” I put my foot down and we stopped feeding Joss when she rammed the side of the bed. It made her more disciplined and allowed us to get a good night’s sleep.
But since Ginger is reaching the end of her life, and she has survived so much already, we usually give her what she wants. We know it’s not the best discipline thing. But what it has taught me is that when you really want something, when it is vitally important to you, don’t stop barking until you get it. That may be a job that you want or a relationship that you want or that new client or just about anything you can think of. And when you are sure and when it is not harming anyone else, just keep barking until you get it.