Owning a dog can bring you a lot of fun and enjoyment and this can be enhanced by understanding that dogs aren't people dressed up in fur, they have their own social structure and language that is different from ours.
Sometimes it can be hard to understand why your dog is acting the way it is, especially if you are doing everything you know to try and help your dog. Here are a few tips about some of the problems dog owners can encounter and hints on how to enjoy owning a dog.
Be the Leader of the Pack Dogs are pack animals and they need a leader. If you aren't providing leadership then your dog will take on that responsibility. The problem with that is leadership tends to bring out the worst in most dogs. They can become dominant and aggressive. So always remember, to be a leader and not a follower. Don't feel sorry for your dog. She/he doesn't need it all she/he wants is to know what to do.
Pat Your Dog as a reward not to calm him or her down One of the most common causes of problems with dogs is inappropriate patting by owners. You see it all the time a dog is a bit scared or nervous and the owner pats the dog to re-assure or calm the dog. Instead of calming or reassuring the dog by patting a dog in these circumstances they will only make the situation worse because they are re-enforcing the dogs behaviour. The end result is that the dogs nervousness or shyness will increase not decrease. So only pat your dog as a reward for doing the right thing e.g. sitting on command, coming when called etc.
Pulling on the Lead A common problem dog owners face is an over-excited dog pulling on the lead every time they take their dog for a walk. This can be overcome with practice and proper training for both the owner and the dog. Also make sure your dog is getting regular exercise and enough exercise to match its energy level. Half an hour a day is the minimum for most dogs.
Training The best thing you can do for your dog is to provide it with plenty of mental stimulation. One of the best forms of mental stimulation is dog training. Not only does it benefit your dog but you will benefit too as it will help you be the leader of your pack and help you understand your dog(s) (and other people's too). A bored dog can be a destructive or aggressive dog. Best of all its never too late because, believe it or not, you can teach an old dog new tricks!
Need help with training?
Doggie Does Good provides Dog Training in the Sydney metropolitan area. Doggie Does Good is located in the inner west.