Everyone wants a happy dog. This creates a good family companion who is up to go out, run, walk or enjoy a relaxing day at home. To achieve all of this, it’s important to give them proper healthcare and appropriate behavior education.
The Importance of Health Care
Health care is a no brainer and having a high quality vet is essential. Keeping up with regular and semi-annual checkups and vaccines are a must, and puppies and senior dogs should have more frequent visits. Your dog is not just your pet, but a member of your family, so giving them the best care is essential, as is open communication with your vet. Always call or contact your vet’s office when you notice a change in behavior or physical appearance. Make a list of concerns you would like to discuss with your vet at the next visit. Most importantly, be open about your financial limits. Always ask for an estimate before any work is performed.
When your dog is healthy, it’s happier and learns quicker. Mental health and stimulation are just as important as physical health care. Dog obedience must remain a top priority, along with health care. Here’s a list of tips, including where to begin, how to nail basic commands, different behavior in different breeds, and the benefits of having a well trained pet.
Where to Begin
Develop a basic training program by enrolling your dog in a dog academy or school, like It’s a Dog’s World K-9 Academy, Inc. You need to start by teaching your dog the basic commands: sit, stay, down, come and heal. Don’t just choose a dog school based on an Internet search. If you’re going to enroll your dog for classes, you should ask to audit a class so you can see what the format is and how thorough the trainer is. If you are going to board and train, you should always ask to check out their kennel and make sure the kennel is not sending dogs to another kennel operation when they have reached the maximum amount of dogs they are allowed to have on the property. To insure that your dog is where it is supposed to be, it’s a good idea to make surprise visits and ask to audit a training session or check in on your dog in the kennel. If your dog school is not encouraging to the idea of involving you in the dog training process, then it’s probably not a very good school.
Nailing Basic Commands
The first commands your dog school and you should teach and repeat with your dog are: watch me, sit, stay, down, come and heal (so they know how to walk with you on a leash). Once you have these commands down, which are covered in Puppy Kindergarten and Basic Obedience at It’s a Dog’s World K-9 Academy, Inc., he or she will start to express all around better behavior, habits and health.
Different Breeds, Different Learning Levels
All breeds are different. It’s important to understand this and to understand dogs are not humans. Dogs will act out to try and communicate with humans and we have to teach them how to channel their actions into good behavior. Different dogs will learn at different levels. Some breeds are calmer, have longer attention spans and are less hyper. Other breeds, like Siberian Huskies, have a much shorter attention span, are hyper and while they understand certain commands, may not always demonstrate that. If you didn’t do your research or homework before you brought your dog into your family, do it during the training process to understand your dog’s behavior. Some dogs will need more repetition or will need to be enticed with rewards and play breaks in between training sessions.
Continued Training and Health
Your dog graduates from dog school and knows all the basic commands. He will come when called from playing in an enclosed yard, will sit and stay, walk without pulling, and go to his or her “spot” or bed on command. You have developed a healthy, well-trained member of your family. So now what? Well, just like being a parent, your job never ends. You should take your dog to brush-up lessons (refresher lessons) at least four to six times per year. Brush-ups at It’s a Dog’s World K-9 Academy, Inc. cost $20 per half-hour session and all the basic commands are covered. You should continue to work with your dog at home; a daily 15-20 minute routine, even though you practice these commands in everyday interaction. You should also keep your dog socialized. Take them to supervised “dog park” settings where he or she can play with other dogs. Take them to the local coffee shop, outdoor mall, park or just out for a walk at least four times a week so they are used to people and you can observe their behavior. Like your veterinarian, keep an open relationship with your dog trainer. Talk to your trainer about changes in behavior before or after brush-ups. If you notice your dog is being lazy, or has gained weight, enroll them in activities at your trainer’s. Most trainers offer Frisbee, open play, or Rally-O activities, if your dog is suited for it.
Activities you can Enjoy With a Well-Behaved Dog
When you have a well-behaved dog, you have the opportunity to engage in many more outdoor activities. Everyone wants to get out more; walk, jog and simply enjoy the outdoors. It can be hard because we have limits and it’s always hard to do it alone, but it’s true, those who have a dog they can be active with, have an overall healthier lifestyle. Activities you can enjoy with your pooch:
· Bike riding
· Visiting the park
· Visiting a dog friendly area at a beach or campsite
· Sitting/eating at the outdoor patio at a Coffee House or Café, after walking there and back
· Shopping in an outdoor mall or swap meet
· Roller blading
· Swimming or boating (make sure you take certain measures to ensure your and your dog’s safety)