Can a dog be spoiled?Question:
I told a lady at a business I go to that I was thinking of taking a two week trip to Israel and will need to board my dogs at a luxury ranch for dogs so they will be well taken care of.
She replied with "They are spoiled" and a frown.
Aside from the fact that she just doesn't understand that I want to be sure I will not have to worry that they will be under responsible care at a place they will enjoy, I also don't believe that dogs have the capacity to become spoiled.
I'm going to pose this question to Ceasar Milan but feel that we have the best experts here on the ProDog forums also.
I'll list my thinking on a response to this, but first the question:
Can a dog be spoiled?
Heck yes, I think dogs can be spoiled, but I wouldn't say that boarding dogs at a reputable facility is spoiling them.
My opinion is NO.
People have different ideas of what spoiled means. I think people can be spoiled but not dogs. Dogs will simply do what the owner requires of them and trains them to do. Don't want them on the furniture, just make it off limits. Want them to live with you in a tent or a castle? - they will do either without complaint and still hold you in the highest regard in their loving hearts.
That's my take on dogs.
Spoiled as in having it too good? Nope, dogs can't have it too good.
They can act like spoiled brats when their owners don't put proper boundaries on their behavior but that's another issue.
Dogs can be over-indulged by people, but they are still able to be, with expert training, weaned from that treatment and come back to simply love their owner and live the simple doggie life without needing special treatment.
I think people are much more neurotic, because only people can conger up imaginations in their own minds of how they should be treated like royalty, which really is a sickness.
These are just my opinions. As you can tell, I give a lot more credit to dogs for having a steady base of operation in their minds, while people must work hard to avoid things like narcistic behavior and social behavior ills.
what Dax said
This is where I am coming from also Dax. I think your exact words must be read carefully to get a separation between what people do to influence dog behavior and what dogs do on their own.
Dogs do not obsess, howl over perceived injustices or try to create avoidance mechanisms to deny what they can't accept.
In other words, dogs are not complicated like people.
On the other hand, I congratulate people who keep on an even keel and to be happy. This takes a certain amount of discipline in order for humans to accomplish.
I think people can wreck dogs lives, but it's not something a dog would do to themselves.
I strongly believe we have many good lessons we humans can learn from dogs. They are a help to us at more than just pulling sleds and carrying a jigger of whisky to a man caught in a snowdrift.
I think we should be debating the definition of the word "spoiled." lol
Here's the Chambers:
spoil verb (past tense, past participle spoilt or spoiled, present participle spoiling) 1 to impair, ruin or make useless or valueless. 2 to mar or make less enjoyable • The contrived ending spoiled the film. 3 a to treat someone or something in an indulgent way; b to harm (a child, pet, etc) by the kind of over-indulgence that will lead to selfish behaviour, unreasonable expectations of others, etc • She is spoiling that boy - he never even has to tidy his room. 4 intrans said of food: to become unfit to eat. 5 to deliberately deface (a ballot paper, voting slip, etc) in order to make it invalid. noun (always spoils) 1 possessions taken by force; plunder • the spoils of war. 2 any benefits or rewards • a company car - just one of the spoils of the new job. be spoiling for something to seek out (a fight, argument, etc) eagerly. be spoiled or spoilt for choice to have so many options or alternatives that it is hard to decide which to choose.
ETYMOLOGY: 13c: from French espoillier, from Latin spoliare, from spolium plunder or booty.
spoiled or spoilt adj 1 said of a child, pet, etc: selfish, demanding, greedy, etc, especially because of having been over-indulged, pampered, etc. 2 damaged, injured, marred, etc.