Dogs are the New Kids
Dogs are the New Kids
With the current fast moving lifestyles of the young and carefree
The decision to have children are moving much later on in life, if at all.
The average 30 year old is happy to focus on their career and come home to a loveable fur kid and is not necessarily even considering children or marriage. Theres a myth though that dogs come ready made and no effort is needed. A rather unpleasant surprise is in store for those that believe dogs just know how to live with humans. They need nurturing and guidance just like a kid but they are more independent earlier on in their lives. Granted its much easier and much more cost effective but you need to invest time and money into the development of your dogs well being. Of course some things are easier, you can put your dog out in the garden for a bit while you are busy with something and I reckon it would be frowned upon if you put you young kid out into the garden and headed off shopping. So it is easier but a little effort is needed. You need to guide your dog how to live harmoniously with you. There are things which dogs adore and we find quite frightening. The thought of rolling in poop and then snuggling on the bed is quite terrifying for us but for your pooch, that is just the best bonding moment. So we need to gently adjust that behaviour so that we don’t spend the evenings sharing our bed with a poop rolled pooch.
The best thing to do when helping your dog learn the human way, is to not concentrate on the negative but to rather concentrate on what you would like your dog to do. A lot of management is needed in the beginning to lay a consistent guideline for your relationship with your dog. Include your dog in as many safe, controlled social activities from an early age. Guiding them with their interactions with people and other beings. The more novel experiences they have, where there was a good feeling and no danger experienced the more solid your dog will be. Let your dog know from day one what behaviors you like rather than what you don’t like.
So you know you are not going to want to have a dog that jumps up on your guests as they arrive, so you need to make sure you dont encourage your dog to jump up on you for loves when you get home because you like it. Your dog doesn’t necessarily understand that you like it but others dont. Its too confusing rather guide your dog into behaviours that will work across the board. So instead of thinking I dont want my dog to jump up on guests, what is it you want your dog to do? Ideally when your guests arrive you would like your dog to sit nicely while they enter or go lie intheir bed until they are invited by your guest to come and interact. Your dog does not intrinsically know this is what is expected of it, you have to teach it but once you’ve got the ideal behaviour and you are consistent with what you expect for them, then you and your dog are in for a great life together. But what if things go wrong. Don’t panic. You’re not alone in this department and dogs are pretty resilient. As long as your relationship is built on positive reinforcement and trust.
There is a whole industry out there to help you. Certified dog trainers and behviourists who have studied animal behavior in depth and are there to help you and your dog iron out the kinks. A lot of the time its just thinking about where you went wrong and getting back into a consistent routine and stuff sorts itself out. Boredom can be a big instigator of unwelcome behaviours, we need to keep in mind that dogs used to spend hours searching for food and hunting and we now place that down in a bowl and its gone in less than a minute. So we need to help them out with things to do, while we are at work all day. There are countless brain toys out there that are great for your dog but a good walk and sniff and hiding things in your garden and house for them to find are incredible for them. At the end of the day when their noses are engaged there’s very little room for them to focus anywhere else. The brain only allows for so many neurons firing at once and when a dog is focused on a scent (remember scent is their most developed sense) everything else just disappears into the background. When the dogs concerns about the big wide world disappear they are open to developing a conditioned emotional response and this (CER) is the most effective tool to fight the part of the brain that stores emotions, emotions that scare and strike fear into them and cause them to react undesirably. So as with anything in life if you and your dogs lay a good foundation in your relationship it’s easier to build and grow your relationship together. Always have realistic expectations for your dog. You’re not going to get the Lassie or Disney dog if you don’t train your dog in those behaviours. An important bonus with dogs that is often overlooked is that there are so many awesome adult dogs in rescue Centres around the country that are already stable and know what is expected of them. They just need a human to share their life with and that could be you. Please head over to Dogtownsa.org and see your new best friend today and let Dogtown help you and your dog have the most rewarding relationship. And remember if you can build a beautiful, balanced relationship with your dog. If you ever decide to have a child of the human kind, you will be pretty prepared for what lies ahead. Just remember families around the world for centuries have had both dogs and kids. Having a child is no reason to dump a dog that has dedicated their life to you unconditionally. It just takes a little change in your family dynamics and if you’re foundation is solid. Your kid will have a best friend in your dog.
Tracy & The Rescues