Have you ever wondered what your dog thinks about? Some of us have little idea of how a dog sees life, and if you own a dog, this could cause issues to arise. Of course, we know that dogs are smart, and just like people, some are smarter than others, they also have feelings as we do, such as fear, frustration, jealousy, anger and aggression. Let’s begin by looking at the basics of the modern dog.
Leader of the Pack
Dogs are inherently pack animals, and in the wild they live in groups, or packs, as we call them. A pack is very ordered and there is a hierarchy, with one dog being the alpha male. When your dog lives at home with you and your family, you are his alpha dog and he should always realise this and be submissive when necessary, and if a dog displays bad behaviour, this is usually because the owner has not established themselves as the pack leader. Just like a child will test the waters regarding discipline, so will a young dog, and this is when you must show him that you are in control. Being his pack leader is the key to good behaviour, so make sure you do have his respect.
Never Inflict Corporal Punishment on your Dog
This is an absolute no-no, as it teaches the dog that it is OK to be violent when you are trying to establish dominance, and the best way to train a dog is by using the reward system; give him affection only when he gets it right. If, for example, he won’t stop chewing things when you are not at home, this can be infuriating, and you might be tempted to beat him, but resist that temptation and focus on depriving him of attention until he understands what is required of him.
A puppy is just as curious as a young child and will put most things in his mouth, and while on the subject of health, you should take out some form of pet insurance to cover any emergency medical bills. If he’s isn’t feeling well, the signs would be there; a dry nose, lack of appetite and an inclination to lie around are all signs a dog is unwell, and take him to the vet if he doesn’t recover quickly.
If you think that your dog will laze around all day until you are ready for some exercise, think again. A dog should not be left alone for long periods of the day, and if he is on his own from morning until evening, expect there to be some behavioural issues. Lack of exercise is the number one reason for bad behaviour in a dog, so make sure he gets adequate time off the leash when he can run around and be a dog.
A dog will always try to please his master, and if he is behaving badly, it might be that he simply doesn’t understand what you want him to do. Always treat your dog with kindness and he will be your lifelong friend, come what may!