Body Language & Signals
Reading, understanding, and responding to the body language and signals that dogs use to try and communicate with us is the first place to start.
Once you know the keys to dog communication you can never go back to they days when you used to think that yawning is only a sign of tiredness, or that sniffing only occurs when something smells interesting.
Walks, Exercise, Activation, & Rest
Walking and exercise are synonymous with dogs, but rest and sleep are not so much…well, they should be!
Just as humans need sufficient sleep to function properly, so do dogs; if you’d be cranky after a bad night’s sleep, so would your dog.
Dog owners are often encouraged to play high intensity ball games or go running or cycling with their dogs in order to really tire them out and encourage a calm state of mind, but often these activities actually have the opposite effect.
Decisions & Freedom Of Thought
Sit. Down. Paw. Turn. Jump. No. Quiet. Stop.
These are some of the most common things that we say to our dogs; we either treat them like circus animals or like they are nothing but a nuisance. For such an intelligent, loving, and loyal species, they deserve much better treatment from us.
Given the opportunity to think for themselves and to make their own decisions dogs will make good, intelligent decisions, but you have to give them a chance.
Psychological & Social Needs
Dogs are social animals. They have social needs, emotional needs, psychological needs. If those needs are not met it will result in stress, and stress will result in problem behaviour.
Many dog owners want to fix problem behaviour, but they don’t necessarily want to focus on fixing the source of the problem behaviour. Identify the source, alleviate the stress, and fix the behaviour, but never assume that problem behaviour comes out of nowhere – there is always a reason.
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