Is “pushing” your dog intrusive and aggressive or affectionate and bonding? There is a training method known as “pushing” a dog. This method is used by trainers who also believe that playing “tug-of-war” and letting your dog win helps to strengthen the bond between canine and human. Both methods allegedly make your dog happy and more attracted to you.

If you have read my articles mentioning “tug-of-war” you already know that I disagree and strongly believe that it increases your dog’s impulse to bite, nip, and grab and run without letting go or dropping when asked to. Engaging in these types of dog-to-dog events will also validate the aforementioned negative behavior.

As for pushing, yes, pushing a dog will result in the dog coming back at you. I don’t consider that to be a sign of affection. If a dog is jumping on or at you and you push him, he will come back at you immediately. But jumping is the unacceptable part to start with, so why increase and validate that behavior. If a dog is mouthing you while jumping, that will escalate to nipping/biting.

On many occasions, I have witness pet parents sitting at a table while their dog jumps on them and mouths them. The pet parent gets frustrated and annoyed and pushes the dog to get the dog off them. In return, the dog immediately, without any hesitation/impulse control, jumps and mouths again. How is this a good thing to do??

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