Care of Your Companion Dog

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Care of Your Companion Dog

At the outset, please remember that adaptation of a dog is a long-term commitment – a dog is for life not just for the holidays. Before deciding on adopting a dog please ensure that the following needs of the dog can be taken care of:

  1. Good food
  2. Clean water
  3. Exercise and Freedom
  4. Grooming and Brushing
  5. Veterinary care in case of illness or injury.

Here are a few suggestions to ensure you develop the right kind of relationship with your dog and get things off to a good start.

A dog is a pack animal and regards everyone in the home as part of the pack, animals and humans alike, so it is important that your new pet learns his place in the pecking order. If he (or she) does not, then he will become confused and strain the start of a lifelong friendship.

The best place for your dog in his new pack is at the bottom of the pecking order i.e. all humans are the boss or the ‘top dog’ in your pet’s eyes.

This state of affairs is quite easy to achieve as long as you follow these golden rules :

  1. Ground rules need to be implemented straight away otherwise the dog will only obey instructions when it wants to and ignore them if it does not like the idea. Worse still, a dominant dog can respond with aggression when forced to do something it does not want to do. Always ensure your dog sleeps on the floor or in its own bed, never on the furniture or the bed you sleep in. Ideally place the bed in an area where the dog can rest undisturbed.
  2. When feeding a dog, always ensure it is fed after everyone else. In the dog’s eyes, whoever eats first is the top dog, so if it always has to wait until you have eaten, it will always look to you as the boss. Following this rule will make the dog less inclined to beg at the table as well. Feeding time is also a good time for basic training; making them sit before getting the food, leading on to making them wait until told when to eat, is all good obedience training. In a household with young children, it is often helpful to let the children feed the dog as this will increase their social standing in the dog’s eyes making the dog behave better with the children.
  3. A dog will play games for fun, but it will also learn from games who is strongest. To a dog, whoever wins is the dominant or top dog. The most important game to win is any tug of war with an object – direct trial of strength. Any toy used in games must be back in the owner’s hand at the end of the play. If not, the dog will read the score as a canine victory, and behave accordingly. Avoid at all times wrestling with your dog, as they will invariably beat you, and it tends to make them aggressive.

 

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