By Karen A. Soukiasian
As dog owners, we want our puppy or dog to be healthy, feel secure, and be happy. We do our best to provide the finest food and medical care we can afford.
We provide the exercise we think they need. and all the love they can bear. That’s wonderful. Nevertheless, most dogs would appreciate four more natural dog needs from us, to secure and happy.
Four Inherent Needs of Your Dog:
Dogs need leadership. Inherently, they follow the strongest leader. It is the leader’s responsibility to provide a sense of order, and security for his or her pack. If you do not provide that leadership, he or she may disregard you, and either step up and fill that role, or follow the dominate dog in the house. Simply put, it is your job to provide fair, firm and consistent leadership.
Most dog owners would like to believe they can, and do provide all the companionship their dog wants or needs. It is not always true. Being social, pack oriented animals; most dogs do require canine companionship. Your puppy or dog needs that interaction of rough and tumble playing, and high-energy exercise only another dog can provide.
They also need contact with other dogs, in order to learn the Canine Manners and Etiquette Rule Book, as only another dog can teach. On the plus side for you, by allowing your dog to socialize with other dogs, you give them the opportunity to have fun being a dog. It reinforces your status as their leader, because you decide how rough and how long they play together.
Establishing fair and clear boundaries creates a sense of security. In a pack, there are boundaries each member must respect for peaceful co-existence. Boundaries not only mean a fenced yard, boundaries include providing simple, clear rules of the house. To make it easier for your dog to learn the rules, and respect your boundaries, everyone in the house must be fair, firm, and consistent.
Simply put, if the house rule is no dogs on the furniture, everyone follows that rule. The same holds true for no feeding the dog from the table. Or, not allowing your dog to jump on people. Like water, dogs follow the path of least resistance. When the family is consistent with the rules, your dog figures why bother testing the rules. When not everyone is consistent, you will be constantly tested.
Dogs in households with established well-followed scheduled routines, feel the most secure. They quickly learn your routines and conform to your schedule, but you have to be fair to your pets. A discombobulated household, with little or no scheduled routines is unfair to your pet. It is unreasonable to expect them to accommodate us with appropriate behaviors, if we don’t provide them with an expected routine.
Chaos confuses most dogs. Don’t make it more difficult for your pet to learn appropriate behaviors, such as housebreaking, if there is no schedule. If your dog is not fed on schedule, or let outside to relieve his or herself because you have no scheduled routine, don’t be surprised when you find a surprise! Don’t blame your dog. It’s your responsibility to have a feeding and relieving schedule. When a dog’s daily routine is on a schedule, they will learn it. Then, life is good!
Bottom line: Add these four simple inherent needs to your dog’s life, leadership, canine companionship, boundaries, and scheduled routines. Then, watch the difference in your puppy or dog! They will feel more secure, much happier, and better behaved! It can’t get any better than that!
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