And how do we get our dogs to behave .
responsible-dog-ownership. What does responsible dog ownership mean? After all; we love them, feed them, take them for a walk and maybe for a play in the park with other dogs every now and then, we make sure they have fresh water, and we even play with them occasionally at home; and in most people’s opinion this is good enough to be a good and responsible dog owner. But unfortunately, it isn’t good enough.
So what do we need to change to be “Responsible Dog Owner”? Are we not responsible enough to our dogs that we all love so much? The answer is convoluted, as there are many variants and requirements for a dog to be balanced, obedient and know their position in the pack (our family).
So YES, in a certain aspect of the responsibility to our dogs we are good owners for the very reasons I mentioned above. We love them, feed them take them for walks, pick up their poops, wash them and play with them. However, on the other hand, what we normally do and think is enough to be responsible dog owners is a big NO. We are not responsible enough, because dogs need so much more than what I described above, and in most cases that are it for many dogs.
“Responsible Dog Ownership” starts with the fact that we need to understand the difference between us and them and that dogs of all breeds from the smallest Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane or Alaskan Malamute, are all primal animals (Mammals-DOGS) They are all still using primal ways of communications and instincts, but they all communicate in the same way and understand each other perfectly, regardless of the size or breed of the dog. This is in every way very different to how we, humans communicate and interact with our dogs and we pass on the wrong messages in most cases without even knowing that we are the ones teaching our dogs bad manners.
You see; this is where the confusion and problems begin to unfold. We bring a puppy or a dog home, and within a few days when they get comfortable and settle in within their new environment, they start learning and understanding our patterns and where our week points are. Why? Because they are born with a primal and survival instincts, they don’t need to go to work for 8 hours to pay the mortgage, they don’t need to cook, do the laundry or any other choirs at home. So, they have all the time in the world to just watch us and learn our routines. Within a few days, they smartened up, as it is their primal instinct of survival if in their natural habitat – (Free of Boundaries) and start taking on some of the control in the household.
Why? Because they are born with primal and survival instincts, they don’t need to go to work for 8 hours to pay the mortgage, they don’t need to cook, do the laundry or any other choirs at home and they do not need to go shopping at the supermarket. As a direct result, they have all the time in the world to just watch us and study our routines and movements. Within a few days after the puppy arrived, they smartened up, and start taking on some of the control in the household. Because this is what they do in their natural habitat (the fight for survival and leadership)
Whilst they started controlling the household by taking over leadership, you’re getting frustrated and you got no idea how to improve their behaviour, and you probably escalate or reward that bad behaviour by utilising the wrong human corrections ways, which can be very confusing for the dog and even escalate to more serious problems later on.
How to improve your bond and relationship? it’s all about: responsible-dog-ownership, consistent dog training and guidance.
Dog’s communicate silently; they use body language and body gestures or signals to tell one another what they feel or need at that moment. As far as all scientific research has proven it is that; ALL dogs understand each other because they all communicate in the same universal body language of the “Canis Lupus Familiaris” which is the scientific name for dogs. But they don’t behave or communicate in any different ways to the “Canis Lupus” (wolf) in and way.
The only difference between our dogs and the wolves is that dogs have been born and seen humans as soon as they open their eyes for the first time, therefore they get used to us as part of the environment they are surrounded with, where the wolf does not see humans for the majority of their puppyhood and adolescence stages and remains wild.
So now we established hat dogs are domesticated and can interact with humans, give love and affection and can be even trained to help us with many emotional and physical problems.
but it is very important to learn how to properly interact with them and provide them with their needs to bee a happy subordinate of our pack.
Sometimes dogs may be vocalising with their intention to pass a message to either another dog or to us, and again there are so many variations of vocalisation, So I won’t get into all of them in this article, as I just want you, to understand your dog better and provide them with their needs.
Dogs have many different needs to us humans, that also depend on the breed of your dog as some are very active from working dogs lines and some can sleep all day.
So we finally got the dog, we stayed home with them for a few days but we have to back to work very soon. So when we go back to work we leave them alone in a beautiful house with a beautiful fenced backyard and leave them sometimes for 8 or more hours by themselves.
And here is where the problem starts, and what we can do to compensate our prolonged absence from home: You must understand that Dogs are highly intelligent, social and active animals, often, living in packs of 3 or more. But they are always together whenever the leader goes the subordinates follow, they never left each others site, they playing all day, eating, sleeping and then when hunger strikes they go hunting their desired pray. Remember that in their natural environment they don’t have boundaries like our home walls or the fenced backyard, they are freely roaming in their open space or territory.
These dogs (including our domesticated dogs) or the wolf packs are structured by the same hierarchical structure, (leadership) Typically by a dominant Alfa couple, which is usually the mother and father of the younger pack dogs, the Alfas continually control, reprimand, guard and monitor behavioural issues within the subordinates dogs in the pack. They do it every single time when any of their dogs is misbehaving. They are consistent with their correction from the time the pups open their eyes, and they never ever let them get away with unacceptable behaviour.
But when it comes to us, we let our cute fluffy fur ball pups get away with things because they are so cute and we do not understand that they are just pups and need constant direction and training.
So what is happening with our dogs that come to live and share their lives with us? Why do they misbehave and don’t listen, why do they keep jumping up on the couch, digging up the back yard, why are they chewing all the furniture and why are they jumping up on us when we come home, and why are things become worse from week to week? It’s because we let them get away with things where their natural parents would have reprimanded them every single time and with consistency.
When dogs come to our human world we are supposed to take on that leadership role and provide them with dog training and direction, they are born with no skills, they are born neutral, with no aggression or phobias of ay kind. We need to expose them to all stimuli surrounding the environment where they are going to live in. We also need to start to teach them right from wrong and we need to be consistent, and I emphasise the word consistent because they push boundaries to see where your breaking point is, and usually because we are so busy with other things we tend to let them get away with it this time as we had to rush out or attend to other things again.
Dog’s territorial areas can range up to hundreds of kilometres. And yes, this applies to our own domesticated dogs too, if they were not in captivity (Meaning; in our homes and fenced backyards) and they were in their natural open space, they would have been active most of the day, and covered many kilometres. But remember that they would have also been together with each other all this time.
The biggest issue is that we all need to go to work to pay the mortgage and other living expenses, so we are leaving our dogs behind for many hours at the time, and this is the start of boredom, development of fears, uncertainty, abandonment and the list goes on…
This is one of the reasons your dog is not bonding or trusting you enough to be obedient to you. because leaders do not leave their dogs alone for so long and therefore, he does not see you as part of his pack. (In many cases, you might just be seen as one of his resources).
We must let them exert their energy and one of the best things you can do is take them for very long walks on a daily basis, and then to the nearest off-leash park so they can run and play with other dogs for at least one hour, and it must be done daily.
To make up for that mistrust and disobedience your dog developed by your busy lifestyle or your wrong corrections at he wrong time with the wrong tone can be easily fixed and compensated by playing and spending more one on one time with them when you are home.
Mental stimulation exercises are a great way to close that gap. Those exercises are creating a bond, teaching them to use their brain rather than their excitement, and get their attention focused on you; they learn your boundaries, as they increase the bonding with you, and slowly start building a closer and more involved relationship with you, hence being more responsive to your requests in the future.
But remember that it must be done on a daily basis and repetitive work for about 10-minute sessions for at least 3 times a day.
Remember that dogs learn by repetition, so be patient when you teach your dog a new game or command, keep repeating until he gets it. It may sometimes take 10 or 15 minutes for them to understand what you are requesting them to do depending on the difficulty of what you are teaching them. Don’t over do it. Make sure you give them at least 3 times a day about 10 minutes of stimulation play exercises.
Many simulation games and exercises to help you achieve a total control and have a better relationship with a well-balanced dog can be downloaded from the Internet.
Just type “Mental Simulation Games for Dogs” and you’ll get hundreds of results.
If you need assistance in obtaining the appropriate dog training and get the ball rolling with your dog behavioural training please email us at; firstname.lastname@example.org and we will discuss with you how we can assist in the best possible way to start the behavioural trsaining and at the same time educate you with the dog’s needs and how to continue to work with your dog to keep them on track.
Good luck and give your dog what they need so you can benefit from what they can give back to us.