If you have been reading this blog then you know I am no Dog Training Uber Master, but I think that overall we have fairly well rounded and definitely extremely happy dogs.
Although they do still misbehave at times, for the most part they will do as they are told and are becoming quite well trained.
We have owned Dogs previously for over sixteen years and have learnt a few things along the way. I have never trained our dogs to do tricks or agility just trained them to learn the basics and to be relatively well behaved.
Dogs will always misbehave on occasion but there are many ways to help you and your Dog to work together better and to have a happier and better behaved dogster.
This is a fairly long post so it may be best if you bookmark or save this page to come back to.
The following is a list of some of the best ways to have a happier and better behaved dog:
- Exercise. This is without doubt the most important thing when it comes to having a well behaved dog. Dogs should be taken out at least twice a day for a suitable amount of exercise. The more the better. An under exercised Dog will within days become very badly behaved.
- Company. It is very important to Dogs. They are very sociable and should have as much company as possible. If they are alone all day ensure they get quality time with you when you are at home.
- Rules. Dogs need rules to live by. If you don’t give them a proper structure to live by they will very quickly start walking all over you. Set some boundaries.
- Food. All Doggies love their food. Some are real gulpers but they all love a treat on occasion. There is nothing wrong with the occasional treat as long as they are not overweight.
- Feeding should be controlled. We always make the Dogs sit and stay while their food is put on the floor. They were impatient at first but now they sit until told “take ” in turn. This makes for a nice stress free feeding time. No getting overexcited and lunging for their meals. It leads to a calmer and happier household.
- Super treats. Every week or so the girls are given a nice big Raw Meaty Bone. It keeps them happy for hours. It will save you on Dental bills in the future (trust me on this ) and will give you some peace for a few hours. Priceless.
- Training. Basic training from a very early age is very important. Your Dog should be sitting when told by less than three months of age. Very easy to do with a treat held up high in front of it’s face whilst you say sit and gently push on its back if needed. This is learnt very quickly.
- Lead/leash training is also very important. This is where there are many different opinions. We live in the country now so it is not so important for us but for built up areas you need to keep your Dog under control on the lead. I believe in using a choker chain. I never found it was cruel. All I found was that you have proper control over your dog and in a short while you will have a Dog that will happily trot beside you without pulling at all.
- Toys. Dogs can very easily become bored and start playing with things they shouldn’t. A few heavy duty Dog Toys are indispensable to keep your Dog occupied when it feels like playing.
- Room confinement. This is more of a do as I say rather than do as I do point. We are totally open plan in our house and it is not ideal. As this naughty Dog post shows. If you can get your Dog used to being in a single room when you are out of the house (mainly when it is still young) you will not return to a house ripped to bits. This will make you happy and stop the Dog getting shouted out!
- A doggie zone. I have now given up on purpose bought Dog beds. They always nibbled on them when they were young and a certain mutt still would if any were available. An area with a pile of old towels, rugs etc is perfect for them. They can dig about in their Doggie fashion to make it comfortable (I don’t get it!) and it is important for them to have somewhere they know is there own space.
- Bathing. A nice smelling Dog is a happier owner, and a Dog that is used to being bathed from a young age will be much easier to handle when it is older. Some Dogs really don’t like it. Get them used to a monthly full on shower or bath and it will make life easier all round in the future.
- Grooming. The same applies. Do it from when they are young and it will not be an issue. Do it sporadically and it will always be new and some sort of game in which they think of the brush as a Toy.
- Evening routine. Set a time as late as you can every evening for that final pee stop. Let them out if your land is fenced or take them out if it isn’t. The later the better. There is less chance of any accidents inside then, especially when they are young.
- House Training. Start immediately to train your Dog that it must go outside to go to the loo. It is no use shouting if an accident happens. It won’t work. They need to be properly trained. Puppies should be let out on and off all day. After they eat, drink, play, wake up etc. Praise them when they go and they will soon learn to go outside and not inside. We had terrific success letting Jet out all the time after any sort of activity in the house and she has never made a mess in the house since she was eight weeks old.
- Be calm. Don’t get overexcited too much. Stay calm if you can. If your Dog is not doing what it should then try to be relaxed and try again. Of course with the best will in the world we will all shout on occasion! But keep it to a minimum.
- Socialize. Dogs love playing with other Dogs. Let your pesky pooch play with some buddies whenever you can. They will learn lots of Doggie skills and the etiquette of what is and is not suitable behaviour.
- Love. The most important one , right? Show your Dog lots of love and you will have a best friend for life.
- Super Duper Treats. Take your Dog to the beach, up a mountain, on a hike etc. Do something really great when you can. Dogs love great big walks and who doesn’t feel happy after a long walk in some fantastic fresh air?
- Get down on the floor and play. You are always out of reach of your loyal companion. Get down on the floor and roll around. What could be more fun than that. Your Dog will love it.
- Costumes. Get your Dog a Big, Pink, Fluffy Dog outfit and go for a walk around the neighbourhood. The bigger the Dog is the better this works. Just kidding! Got you, right?
- Brush your dogs teeth! This IS serious. If you don’t give your Dog a bone regularly then you need to keep those teeth clean. We failed in this with our previous Dog who did not react well to bones and spent an absolute fortune on Dental work for him in his later life. Your Dog will be happier because it will still be able to eat what it wants and you will be happy because the Dog won’t have bad breath and be costing you a fortune.
- Don’t stess the time thing. If you are going to be late getting home to take your Dog out or it is past feeding time then don’t stress it. Dogs would naturally eat sporadically so what is an hour or so? Do you always get fed on time? If the Dog makes a little mess in the house because you are late then just live with it. Life’s too short, right?
- If something in your Doggie kingdom is not right then fix it. If you no longer like the Dogs on the furniture (like me) then sort it out. They ARE Dogs and they will get over it. As long as they have a happy home all the rest is just extras to them.
- Don’t give up. If your Dogs is doing things you don’t want it to and is not responding well to you stopping it, don’t give up. Search around and find a better way to teach your Dog the rules you want it to learn.
- Be silly. When you are out with your Dog or at home in the house then have fun. Jump up and down, jog backwards, do a silly walk, go skipping, make a sheep noise, pretend to be a Matador, roll around with your legs in the air, pretend to be a Cow, sing off key (easy for me), make sqeaky noises. Anything you want to do. Your Dog will love it. Anything daft you do will get your Dog interested. And why not. It’s what having a Dog is all about.
- Enjoy it. If you enjoy time with your Dog they will know it. They will return the love in spades. A happy Dog is one that is loved and cared for and trained to basic levels so it knows you are in charge. All the while you should count yourself lucky you are able to have such a great addition to your life.
Hopefully a few of these points will lead you to having a better behaved Dog but also to you and your Dog/s being happier together.
May the Doggie Force be with you all.