Adding to Your 4-legged Dog Family?
This happens more than you would expect, but I continually see people bringing home new pets to curb their dog’s bad behavior. Unfortunately when other dogs are brought in to help their current dog, the new dog will start to join in on the bad behavior or your already owned dog’s behavior will get even worse. You will need to change the dynamic of the relationship. If your dog doesn’t listen, give you the respect you need, or get enough socialization, you are officially in a mess.
Let’s look at your relationship with your dog.
Respect is the big thing, but how do you earn it? (Respect just doesn’t appear)
What is your ideal day for your dog? When dogs are in the wild they run for miles (exercise), they hunt for food and use their nose (mental stimulation), and they are with other dogs (socialization). Dogs need a large variety of these things. For those of you who aren’t huge runners or walkers that can go for a couple of miles, use fetch to add to their exercise. Fetch can be very beneficial because you are exercising them, providing mental stimulation, and teaching them new commands like bring it and drop it.
Let’s talk about mental stimulation. This is huge and unfortunately, the majority of the time, the most overlooked necessity in a dog’s life. We have to have them think. If we do not provide ways for them to think then they will find ways to amuse themselves. They may start biting, show aggression, begin barking, resource guarding, tearing up furniture, chewing walls, basically doing everything they shouldn’t.
Here are some things to consider when socializing your dog. Do socialize your dog with humans and dogs of all sizes. Don’t take a dog to a dog park if they are insecure. As a dog trainer, I am not a fan of dog parks. We do not know the dogs that are there and I’ve seen a majority of the owners paying more attention to their phone than their dogs. Take your dog to stores that allow them, take them to a doggie daycare, call a friend who has a dog and go to a patio.
Each dog is unique in its own way, some things will work with one dog, but they won’t work with another. Dogs have bad and good days just like you and I. It takes work to gain each others trust and respect, it doesn’t just appear.
Owner & Senior Trainer of
K9 League Dog Training