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On other hand, some owners make opposite mistake and become too indulgent with these dogs. That will only increase dog's insecurity and may create a dog that can't bear to be away from its owner.
If you get a second hand dog, you need to find a middle ground. The dog needs security, not pity. Be kind but be firm. You are in charge and you need to show it to your dog.
If you dog anxiously paws at your lap trying to get attention, ignore him! You make decisions on playing, walking and feeding.
Behavior problems are minimized when your dog feels secure and has a leader (you) that he is confident can protect him.
I recognize that not all shelter dogs will come with problems, but because many will, it's best to begin your relationship on basis that problems should be expected and dealt with.
In long run, this will help dog's new home become his last one.
Louise Louis is a long-time dog person and creator of www.ToyBreeds.com.