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I’m excited for you to drop by and experience first hand our fun and welcoming environment. A well-trained, socialized, and cared for dog is a happy dog who everyone will enjoy being around. Joey and I look forward to seeing you!

Do You Treat Your Dog Like a Dog?

We love our dogs. We dote on them. They’re our friends, our companions, and part of our families.

Being so close to these wonderful creatures, it’s hard for us not to see them as little people and treat them as such.

But a dog isn’t human. We can’t forget that although they’ve been domesticated for thousands of years, canines are their own species, with unique traits, quirks, wants and needs.

Yet many people treat their pet like a child, rather than like a dog.

Why? In some cases, people are trying to meet their own emotional needs. Or they just assume that dogs share the same needs as humans. Sometimes, it may seem easier to follow the human to human pattern of interaction we’ve known all our lives.

Regardless of why, the consequences are clear: treating a dog like a child can lead to future behaviourial problems. This can make an owner’s life more difficult; and for a dog, negatively affect her happiness and sense of security.

Why Dogs Need to Be Dogs

Instinctively, dogs are pack animals. In the pack, everything is based on hierarchy; there are leaders and followers. Leaders provide strength and security to followers.

A dog wants to feel safe and secure, and instinctively feels so when the pack leader provides strong leadership-meaning guidance, direction and control.

In the wild, dogs can be leaders or followers. However, in the home, owners should expect their pets to follow their lead, not the other way around. Given the right prompts, dogs will follow!

Dogs Need Affection, But Not Too Much

As humans, we comfort each other through affection. When a child is scared or upset, her mother holds her close, reassuring and consoling until the emotion passes.

There’s nothing wrong with showing a dog plenty of love. Our furry friends crave affection. With dogs, however, too much affection, or affection at the wrong times, can lead to behavioral problems.

Why? Well, remember that canines have different needs than humans. When scared, upset or uncertain, a pet dog looks for strength from its human pack leader. Too much affection and not enough strength makes an owner look weak in a dog’s eyes, which ultimately fails to satisfy its deepest, most primal need for security. A dog wants to feel protected, but can’t without strength from its leader.

Are You Treating Your Dog Like a Pet or Human?

So are you treating your dog like a human or a dog?

Honestly ask yourself these questions.

  • Have you set boundaries for your dog inside your house?
  • Does your dog walk on a flexi-lead and walk you? Does he determine when and where to stop and sniff and mark?
  • When he uses those sad eyes when you’re eating, do you treat him with some food?
  • Do you let him sit on the couch and pet him for hours while you watch TV?
  • If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may not be providing your dog with the stability he needs to feel secure.

How to Treat a Dog Like a Dog

First and foremost, an owner needs to be smart about how and when to show his dog affection. Critically, this affection must be balanced with strong leadership.

Looking for leadership, a dog needs to know what’s expected of them. So rules, boundaries and discipline are critical, all of which help a dog feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Without these limits, a dog can become territorial, anxious, dominant and unpleasant to be around.

Do You Treat Your Dog Like a Dog Or Human?

We love our dogs. We dote on them. They’re our friends, our companions, and part of our families.

Being so close to these wonderful creatures, it’s hard for us not to see them as little people and treat them as such.

But a dog isn’t human. We can’t forget that although they’ve been domesticated for thousands of years, canines are their own species, with unique traits, quirks, wants and needs.

Yet many people treat their pets like children, rather than like dogs.

Why? In some cases, people are trying to meet their own emotional needs. Or they just assume that dogs share the same needs as humans.  Sometimes, it may seem easier to follow the human-to-human pattern of interaction we’ve known all our lives.

Regardless of why, the consequences are clear: treating a dog like a child can lead to future behaviourial problems. This can make an owner’s life more difficult; and for a dog, negatively affect her happiness and sense of security.

Why Dogs Need to Be Dogs

Instinctively, dogs are pack animals. In the pack, everything is based on hierarchy; there are leaders and followers. Leaders provide strength and security to followers.

A dog wants to feel safe and secure, and instinctively feels so when the pack leader provides strong leadership-meaning guidance, direction and control.

Dogs can be leaders or followers. You want your pet to follow your lead, rather than lead you. With the right cues, dogs will assume this role!

Dogs Need Affection, But Not Too Much

As humans, we comfort each other through affection. When a child is scared or upset, her mother holds her close, reassuring and consoling until the emotion passes.

There’s nothing wrong with showing a dog plenty of love. Our furry friends crave affection. With dogs, however, too much affection, or affection at the wrong times, can lead to behavioural problems.

Why? Well, remember that canines have different needs than humans. When scared, upset or uncertain, a pet dog looks for strength from its human leader. Too much affection and not enough strength makes an owner look weak in a dog’s eyes, which ultimately fails to satisfy its deepest, most primal need for security. A dog wants to feel protected, but can’t without strength from its leader.

Are You Treating Your Pet Like a Human or a Dog?

So are you treating your dog like a human or a dog?

Honestly ask yourself these questions.

  • Have you set boundaries for your dog inside your house?
  • Does your dog walk on a flexi-lead and walk you? Or does he determine when and where to stop and sniff and mark?
  • When he uses those sad eyes when you’re eating, do you treat him with some food?
  • Do you let him sit on the couch and pet him for hours while you watch TV?

Answering yes to any of these questions suggests that you may not be providing your dog with the leadership she needs to feel as secure as possible.

How to Treat a Dog Like a Dog

First and foremost, an owner needs to be smart about how and when to show his dog affection. Critically, this affection must be balanced with strong leadership.

Looking for leadership, a dog needs to know what’s expected of them. So rules, boundaries and discipline are critical, all of which help a dog feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Without these limits, a dog can become territorial, anxious, dominant and unpleasant to be around.

In my next email, I’ll go into more detail about how you can be the kind of pack leader your dog needs, the kind that makes her feel happy, safe and secure.

Until then, all the best to you and your pet!

How to Give Puppy a Head Start

Do you have a new puppy, or are you thinking of bringing one home? Do you know someone who recently welcomed a new pet to the family?

The first six months of any puppy’s life are critical. At this early age, every impression, positive and negative, will influence the kind of dog your little one will become.

So it’s important that you give your puppy as many positive impressions as possible while limiting negative ones.

This doesn’t mean sheltering your pet from every challenge, and it certainly doesn’t mean neglecting to be firm and fair when needed. But to give puppy a head start, you need to continually provide her with new experiences that prepare her for the rest of her life.

Welcome Home, Fido!

You’ve just brought that furry little bundle of joy home for the first time. It’s very exciting, but also a stressful time for you. It’s even more so for puppy.

Your job is to make him feel as welcome as possible. What can you do?

  • Introduce puppy to her outdoor space, including the place where she’ll learn to relieve herself.
  • Set up the crate in a high traffic area. Being around people, he’ll feel safe and secure, making him easier to train.
  • Establish boundaries as early as possible. For example, if you won’t want her on the couch as an adult, don’t allow her on the couch as a puppy.
  • If you have kids at home, get them as involved as much as possible with their new family member and teach them to properly interact with your puppy.
  • You want to provide your puppy with a well balanced diet.  Nutrition plays a big role in their health and behaviour.  Consult a knowledgeable person in your favourite pet store.  You may also want to check this website: www.dogfoodadvisor.com.

Don’t Raise a Wallflower

Your puppy needs a social life! So introduce her to as many new friends as possible–both four-legged and two-legged.

By interacting with different dogs, your new pet will learn to be comfortable with any breed, size or age. And by meeting people of different ages, appearance, and ethnic backgrounds, she’ll be less likely to make strange.  And by meeting them I don’t mean physical interactions.

So how can you increase your puppy’s circle of friends?

  • Go for walks when foot traffic in your neighbourhood is at its busiest. This way, you’re more likely to encounter different people and pets.  This does not mean that you should allow your pup to meet and interact with all the people and pets.  Definitely do not allow them to pull you to meet them.  Start early to advocate for your dog by strictly controlling interactions you allow.
  • Consider joining a play group where you and your pet can drop by to meet other dogs and their owners.  Supervised play is the best.  Perhaps a well run dog daycare is your best bet.
  • Also consider puppy classes. These are a great way to meet other dogs and learn more about what to expect with your puppy . A good start time would be anywhere from 8 – 16 weeks.

Meet the Vet

Hopefully, your new puppy won’t be spending much time at the vet, but of course you’ll be taking him there for an initial checkup a day or two after bringing him home. Find a vet that shares your philosophy on raising a healthy dog, and one you’re comfortable with.

Meeting the vet should be a positive experience, so a thorough check up with lots of touching and petting is a great way to start what could be a lifelong relationship.

Two Key Ingredients for Raising the Best Puppy Around

Above all, there are two things you can provide to give your puppy a step up: patience and consistency.

Remember, like a toddler, your puppy is experiencing many new things for the first time. All this can be overwhelming and confusing.

So be patient. Recognize that he needs to explore, learn and make mistakes. And be consistent. You’re the leader, so it’s your responsibility to ensure puppy learns. Repetition and routine will help your pet gain confidence, feel comfortable, understand, and thrive.  Restrict freedom in the house to when you can closely monitor puppy’s movements.  This sets him up for success rather than failure.

Other Things to Help Puppy

  • Take him for car rides.
  • Crate train
  • Structure, routine and boundaries
  • Interact with other kinds of animals.
  • Play appropriate games for his age.
  • Choose the best food you can afford (read the labels).
  • Watch for signs of needing to go out to relieve himself (sniffing the floor and/or turning in circles) and bring him out, accidents shouldn’t be punished.
  • Learning new things should always be a positive experience.

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