How to get a Happy Dog
The goal in dog training is to give you and your dog tools, that will build a stronger bond and get a relaxed owner and a more confident/balanced dog. The way to get a happy and balanced dog is to do a lot of physical and mental stimulation, and plenty of exercise. The big key word in dog training is: TRUST between you and your dog.
We always want to make sure our dogs are as happy and healthy as they can be, but sometimes we get stuck thinking we’re doing everything we can. There are always new ways to spice up your dog’s life, and some owners might not even be covering the basics. Here you’ll find 10 easy ways to make your dog happier.
#1 – Rotate Toys
Remember to rotate your dog toys and only have 2-3 toys out at a time. Dogs get bored very easy with the same toys, and too many will confuse them.
Keep it simple with toys.
#2 – Go on Walks
Dogs need walks, and should get at least 2-3 per day. The walks should at least be 30 min each. Going on walks isn’t just good for exercise, it’s also good for your dogs mind. Dogs need to get out and discover the world – they like “reading the newspaper” with their nose. It’s also a peaceful way to spend some quality time with your pooch. And last but not least – it’s also healthy for you.
#3 – Train Obedience
Teaching your dog basic skills and manner will make life better for both you, and your dog. Dogs also need to know the rules and boundaries of the household, and they need to know who is the leader. In the training process, it is important to correct and praise your dog every single time for a good response. Trained dogs are happy and balanced dogs.
Keep it fun.
#4 – Teach New Tricks
Even if your dog isn’t the next obedience or agility champion, they certainly have plenty of room to learn new things. Teaching your dog a new trick is a great way for you to spend time together, plus you’ll be providing your dog with a lot of mental stimulation and yummy treats. And remember, old dogs can learn new tricks, so don’t be afraid to try something new with your senior!
#5 – Maintain a Healthy Weight
Always maintain a healthy weight on your dog, and if you do a lot of training with treats remember to reduce the meals accordingly. Obesity is the main killer in dogs, and keeping your dog healthy, with the right amount of food and exercise, will give your dog a longer life span. Excess weight is uncomfortable for the dog, increases body temperature, limits their day to day playtime and puts them at increased risk for a multitude of medical conditions.
#6 – Play Time
Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, getting some playtime in with your dog will build your relationship and allow you both to have fun. Dogs get bored and they want to play, even if they’re older, so don’t hesitate to try and enjoy some new toys! If you have a dog that isn’t that interested in toys, you can play with food by making your dog find hidden treats or chase your hand around to get one.
#7 – Be Consistent
The biggest problem dog trainers see with clients is inconsistency. Just like people, dogs need consistent rules and boundaries for them to understand what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t. Dogs that are constantly being scolded for things they didn’t understand were wrong are always unhappy dogs. Not only does the dog receive unclear and inconsistent punishment, they feel their owner’s stress and anxiety towards them. It’s a bad situation no matter how you look at it.
#8 – Give Them a Bath
While your dog probably doesn’t need to be bathed every week, regular baths will keep them feeling fresh and clean. Not only will you also be more apt to pet your dog because they smell better and feel cleaner, you’ll be getting rid of any allergens that might be on your dog’s coat. You’ll also be getting any pesky fleas off!
#9 – Verbal & Physical Praise
Praise is so important to maintaining a relationship with your dog. Verbal and physical praise mean telling your dog how good they are and petting them. They don’t even have to be doing anything particularly well and it doesn’t have to be in training. Spending time petting and praising your dog even for a couple of minutes will make them feel comfortable, secure and loved.
#10 – Try New Treats
Just like rotating toys is a good idea, rotating treats is too! Most dogs have a few different favorites that can be used on rotation and trying new treats to add to the mix is great too. Your dog will certainly love guessing which snack is coming next and you’ll get to find out their favorite flavors and textures!
ALWAYS HAVE FUN WITH YOUR DOG
I’m a certified dog trainer from Animal Behavior College. In my training I only use the positive reinforcement technique to connect and redirect the dog(s) attention.