Most dog owners jump into life with canines with very little understanding of the species. When a plan isn’t in place, many of those pups wind up in the pound searching for a new home. Start by investing in dog training and be consistent. Consider ways to build a solid relationship through play and exercise, and watch the love grow using these ten important points about dogs.
1. Invest in Dog Training and Apply What is Learned
A well-trained dog is a happy dog. Dogs naturally want to please and they long to know the rules. Before getting a dog, find a good dog obedience course and enroll in it. Even if a dog is older, the animal can still benefit from learning. Find out how old your dog needs to be before training commences. Keep in mind that the dog trainer is teaching owners how to train their dog, so it’s important to pay attention in class and apply what is learned consistently between lessons. More information on training is available at Pet Realm.
2. Make Dog Training Sessions Fun
Playful pups don’t understand when training sessions are too strict. Be sure to make sessions short and fill them with plenty of affirmations. In the early stages, always keep a pocket full of doggie treats and be liberal with them. Nothing says love and fun like tasty treats. Have a goal before training, and stop once the goal is achieved instead of pushing on and tiring out the dog and the trainer. Dogs are eager to please and they are playful by nature. Use those aspects for best results.
3. Lower Expectations for Better Results in the Long-Term
Every dog is smart, but most of them aren’t mind readers. Learning how to sit on command takes time and loving effort. Settle for short sits in the beginning and extend the time once sitting on command happens immediately on a consistent basis. By pushing too hard, pet owners confuse their animals and damage the chances of successful training in the long term. This dog will be around for a long time, so set attainable goals and celebrate success with treats.
4. Spend time building a relationship every day
Relationships don’t grow unless they are nurtured. Keep in mind that many dogs are left alone at home for hours while their owners work. Be prepared to take care of the furry family member as soon as possible after coming home, and build in time for play and love every day. Dogs are social creatures and need to belong to the family unit. Consistent time together reduces problems in the future when the dog feels neglected or lonely. Make sure others in the household include the dogs in their social life too.
5. Consistency matters.
Unlike its owners, most dogs can’t get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Be prepared to let them out at the same time every morning and shortly before bedtime. Plan to deliver meals at a consistent time every day. Even though the rest of the human household may be chaotic, a dog’s life is happiest when bathroom breaks are regular and food appears just at the right time. In addition, emotional consistency matters more than most people realize.
6. Build in time for exercise every single day.
In general, larger dogs need more time to exercise than smaller dogs. Most breeds need somewhere between 30 minutes to two hours every single day. Exercise may include running beside a jogger, a trip to the dog park, or a lengthy round of play in the fenced backyard. To make exercise fun for both owner and pet, many people keep a variety of toys available from Frisbees to balls to sticks. The best exercise regime includes structured a combination of walks that enhance training and wild play without a leash.
7. Be strong and lead at home.
Dogs are very attuned to dominance and, once a dog assumes leadership, the home will never be the same. During training, think about what really matters and let the pup know who’s boss. Being a leader doesn’t mean becoming a tyrant. It means that bouncing on furniture will not be tolerated and the owner is strong enough to get the message across. Structure is important, and dogs who understand the rules are happier. Be clear when behaviors are unacceptable and deliver the information firmly and calmly for best effect.
8. Take time to properly socialize the dog.
Nothing is worse than an aggressive dog. Dogs that snap and nip at strangers or other dogs can be dangerous. Early socialization can prevent this from happening. Start by introducing the dog to the family group. Then, bring unfamiliar people into the home. Friends and family work great. However, once out in the open, a plan for socialization is necessary. Pay attention during walks and speak words of comfort when a stranger approaches on the street. Stop acts of aggression long before they start.
9. Research the breed and pay attention to dog behavior.
Every dog is trying to communicate with its owners. Some breeds have particular traits that make them easy to understand. Read up on the breed if a purebred is being considered. However, every dog has its own personality, so be sure to pay attention to the pet in your own home. Some are shy and some are outgoing. Some behaviors may been initially difficult to understand, but take note of the ones that are not understood and do some research to better understand the furry friend.
10. Be patient.
Even the best dog owners and the most experienced dog trainers run into problems. Know that patience is a friend when dealing with canines. Should new and unhealthy behaviors surface, try not to get angry. Instead, do some investigation to find the root cause of a new problem. Training and learning should be constant for both people and dogs. This attitude helps to put things into perspective. After patient observation, it’s time to try new training methods.
Dogs are the honey on toast that makes life worth living. They are constant companions that require a firm commitment from their owners. Anyone who has a dog should include time for that friend in their everyday life. Consistency, training, and proper socialization make a doggie home a happy one.