May 22, 2013
Julia’s uncovers more about why a dog’s basic needs – when out of whack – can be a cause of bad behavior. And for good measure, she’ll include some basic how-to’s on getting things back on track in this upcoming blog series.
I’m addicted to hearing from my clients. These people are some of the most inspiring, kind, good-hearted folks you can find in Chicago. And they seriously love their dogs.
The majority who reach out to me for dog trainer referrals have a similar list of annoyances with their animal:
- The dog doesn’t listen.
- He gets overexcited and is hard to calm down.
- Barks way too much.
- Can be destructive.
- Won’t come back when he’s loose outside.
- And isn’t reliably house-trained.
Any of these resonating with you?
When you live with a dog, each of those annoyances are a huge pain, but what most miss is that these are not isolated problems, but rather they are symptoms.
Symptoms are warning signs. Often with dogs, first symptoms are mildly annoying. But then the dog gets bigger and older, or more set in their ways which is much, much more annoying. I think a big misconception people have about dogs and their behavior is that their dog will “grow out of it” and the situation will get better soon enough.
But that’s really not the case.
Did you know that the number one cause of death for pet dogs in this country is euthanasia? Pet owners at their wit’s end have the option to put their dog down for symptoms that seem unfixable when in actuality; the real problem hasn’t been identified. The worst part of this all is that many who choose this option did so after their dog bit, meaning someone else or something else suffered as a result of their dog because all the warning signs went ignored.
So what are the different causes?
The way in which someone sets the relationship to their dog and cares for it is the direct cause for any of those symptoms listed above. Even the most normal dogs, dogs that have beautiful temperaments, can still display unwanted behaviors which link to the animals basic needs not being met. It’s kind of a bitter pill to sallow because we love our dogs. We’ll do anything for them. So how can this be?
Here’s what a dog needs:
1.) Socialization – 2.) Good Diet & Health Care – 3.) Training – 4.) Exercise –
5.) Mental Stimulation
And if any one of these falls out of balance, it’s likely you’ll have a dog that will act out.
Now, if I were to jump into each need right now, this would be the world’s longest blog post and I’d lose a lot of you. Personally, I like reading bite-sized pieces of advice so here’s my plan: over the next few weeks, I’ll take a close look at each need, and I’ll post what I learn and want to share.
So far, since I started sharing more of my expertise via this blog for Rover-Time, I touched a bit on adding enrichment to your dog’s life and diet & health, but I think I’ll revisit these topics and uncover more about why a dog’s basic needs – when out of whack – cause bad behavior. And for good measure, each week I’ll include some basic how-to’s on getting things back on track.
By the end of the series, it’s my hope that more of you will have a dog on your hands that feels happier, calmer, more relaxed, and easier to live with.
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