The Basic Dog Manual!
Helpful hints & tips for dog ownership…
Dogs don’t come with a manual so here is some helpful advice!
Learning how to communicate with your dog is the most important skill an owner can have. An owner who is able to achieve this will have a calmer pet with a more tolerant disposition. In addition, positively reinforcing good behaviour, rather than forcing a dog to behave in a certain way, results in long lasting good behaviour and creates a strong bond between dog and owner.
Unfortunately a dog doesn’t come with a manual! All owners should be aware of a few basic guidelines to create the best relationship with their dog. A dog is a pack animal and is often inherently eager to be included. This needs to be on our terms by using positive reinforcement or praise to encourage good behaviour. We must be fair to our dogs and consistent in the attention we give them.
- It is vital that research is carried out before a puppy is bought. Prospective dog owners must choose a breed that will suit their lifestyle.
- Puppies must be socialised as soon as they are vaccinated. By experiencing as many everyday occurrences as possible at a young age, a puppy will grow into a well-balanced adult.
- Dogs should not be sleeping upstairs with you. They should sleep downstairs. Introduce a crate which they will consider their safe area or ‘den’. Everyone needs an area they can go to for relaxation!
- Have a routine with your dog in regards to feeding and exercise. Insist on basic obedience such as sitting before eating or having their lead put on.
- Feed your dog a good quality food. Excessive additives and colourings can cause hyperactivity, which can then lead to unwanted behaviours such as barking, destruction and aggression.
- The amount of exercise a dog needs depends on their breed and age. In general, every dog should have at least one walk a day. Best Behaviour run an off lead exercise and socialisation service to help meet your dog’s needs.
- Owners often make the understandable mistake of interacting with their dog at the wrong time and inadvertently rewarding undesirable behaviour. For example, when a dog jumps up, many owners stare at their dog, tell them off and push them back down. Eye contact, talking to or touching your dog will only encourage the behaviour.
- Mentally stimulate your dog with one or more 10-15 minute basic training session each day. Use a pouch, which becomes symbolic of training. Introduce sit, down, stay, wait, stand, leave, heelwork and recall…..anything that you want, just make it fun!
Counter-condition any unwanted behaviour using training. Our mantra is to ‘train your way out of trouble’. For example, use a sit and stay to stop a dog running out of the front door or jumping up at guests. Similarly, use a look at me to stop your dog from barking or lunging at other dogs on a walk.
We can help with any training issues. Just call us and we will happily arrange a 1-t0-1 consultation!