As we all know, if you are a dog lover, owning a dog can be great fun and rewarding for all members of the family. However, the joy of owning a dog also brings with it a commitment from you that will last around 12 years or even longer. During that time, you will face challenges, frustrations and financial demands that may put a strain on your pockets, your relationship with your dog, and sometimes even your relationship with other members of your household!
With a view to minimizing any potential challenges and frustrations, we would like to offer some advice on how to ensure that your relationship with your dog is the best that it can be, so that you have a happy, healthy, well-behaved dog who will, in turn, offer you years of loyalty and joy that only dogs can bring.
Firstly, when choosing a dog, ensure you have some knowledge of the breeds available to you. Choose a dog that is most likely to fit into your lifestyle by reviewing their potential size, cost of feeding, amount of exercise they are likely to need, and ensure that you have sufficient room in your house and sufficient levels of income, fitness and time to be able to accommodate their needs.
Having considered these factors and decided which breed of dog is right for you, you will be on the right track for bringing into your home a dog who will be easily loved by all members of the family. Your dog will be a positive addition to your life providing you ensure that you are fulfilling his/her basic needs. Our Bark Buster trainers meet hundreds of dogs every week in their homes where their behavioural issues are causing their owners stress, tension and frustration. One of the first things we will explain to you is this; a big step towards a better-behaved dog is to ensure that their four basic needs are being addressed.
Feed your dog a good quality food. Do your own research and do not be persuaded by high-profile television advertising. Feed the best food you can within your budget, and consider visiting the independent comparison website www.allaboutdogfood.com where you can view most of the available dog foods and compare their ingredients, ratings and price. Also worth remembering is that, just like humans, dogs can fail to thrive, or even develop behavioural issues if fed a constant diet of low quality, processed food. Don’t be afraid to add in some fresh vegetables, fish, meat, and even some fruit. Again, do some research on what to feed and what to avoid before you start doing this.
Dogs are sociable animals that thrive in family units (or packs). Once they live in your home with you, then is what they perceive as their family unit; you become their pack. They won’t view you as humans who are naturally in charge in the human world…they simply see you as other members of the unit. Just like you, they instinctively know that the unit needs to be safe, but unlike you, they won’t automatically think that, because you are the adult human, you oversee the safety. In the dog’s eyes, for the family unit to be safe, there needs to be a leader. If your dog doesn’t see you as a leader – if he can train you to respond to his demands, yet ignore your commands, then he will start to regard you as a weaker member of the family and will feel it is his duty to step up and take charge of safety and security of the family both inside and outside the home. This can lead to many problems including nuisance barking, aggression towards other dogs or people visiting, poor leadwork, and poor recall. So, to give your dog a feeling of safety, it is important that he regards you as a good leader who he respects and feels he can depend upon for consistent and wise guidance.
If you decide to own a dog, you have a duty to ensure that your dog has a warm, dry, safe shelter protected from all elements. In the UK, most dogs live inside our home, unlike their counterparts in other countries. Clearly this naturally means that, as a dog has access to the house with the humans, he will have adequate shelter. However, some dogs, especially nervous dogs or those in households with young children may appreciate a small, dark space of their own where they can take themselves away from the family hullabaloo, and relax. Your Bark Busters trainer will happily explain to you the benefits of creating an indoor pen for your dog who may benefit from a smaller space within the house where they can retire and safely relax.
Every dog needs to be trained for them to live harmoniously with humans. This doesn’t mean that you need to turn your dog into a machine, or that you need to be a dog trainer to own a dog. However, you should ensure that you can train the basics. You Bark Busters trainer will be able to help with this. Training can also be fun and entertaining for your dog. By using his brain, he is using energy. Playing with your dog, and training him provides him with mental stimulation and builds up your bond. He learns how to respond to your commands, and learns that the correct response brings praise and reward. By learning through positive interaction, your dog will be much more responsive to you. He will also be mentally tired after a training and play session and this will help to alleviate potential problems of an under-stimulated, under-exercised dog who could become destructive.
By ensuring that you meet your dog’s needs, you can avoid many of the potential behaviours that can harm our relationships with our dogs, and look forward too many years of happy dog ownership. Also, don’t forget that, by meeting his needs, you will have years of unconditional love, someone also pleased to see you, and someone who always wants to go out with you and be in your company.
Bark Busters trainers have trained more than 1 Million dogs worldwide and are renowned authorities in addressing dog behaviour with all-natural, dog-friendly methods. Bark Busters training is the only service of its kind that offers International guaranteed lifetime support. With hundreds of trainers around the world, Bark Busters continues its mission to enhance the human/canine relationship and to reduce the possibility of maltreatment, abandonment and euthanasia. Contact your local Bark Busters dog trainer to see how they can help.