Dog grooming is something which, when taken to the extreme, can be receive a lot of flack. Despite this, a wide number of dog breeds require regular grooming to keep their hair free of matting. It is important that if your dog’s hair does get matted that you seek the services of a groomer. In addition, dog groomers can help maintain your dog’s feet which is also very important, and tricky for somebody untrained to do without hurting them.
The problems tend to arise when dog owners take dog grooming to the extreme, such as with hair dyeing and accessories, rather than doing the reasonable thing of just trimming the hair away to the point where their hair getting tangles is unlikely. Even then, it isn’t a large problem, and can hardly be counted as abusive, just a bit unnecessary.
Owning a reptile like an iguana or snake has its own pros and cons, but when compared to owning a dog, what can you gain and what do you miss out on?
Owning a pet has its responsibilities; you need to clean up after them; you need to feed them; you need to wash them. Whether you own a dog or a pet reptile, this is always the case, but the benefits in this area are that a reptile requires less attention, usually creates less mess, and when it does it is usually contained in a set area. A dog requires constant attention, exercise and more.
The downside to having a reptile for a pet is that they aren’t very engaging. Just like how they don’t need or particularly want affection and attention, the chances are that they won’t provide you much in this way either.
In conclusion, if you want a low level of responsibility from your pet, a reptile could be best for you, but if you’re interested in having an engaging, loving relationship with another animal, a dog is undoubtedly the best option.
One of the most intensive responsibilities with owning a dog is how much you need to walk them. This varies from breed to breed (with a pug only needing to be walked a couple of times a week and shepherding dogs requiring long ones every day), but all of the breeds require you to dedicate time and energy towards maintaining their physical fitness and sense of well-being, which can be exhausting. For those who have a busy work schedule, this is doubly so.
In order to account for the demands of your pet dog, one of the options available to you is to hire a dog walker. This is a typically cheap service which is available in most urban areas, whereby you hire somebody to walk your dog for a small fee. This means that you’ll be providing your dog with the enriching exercise they need to be healthy and maintain a positive attitude. You usually find that dog walkers will walk a number of dogs together, meaning you get the added benefit of giving them a socialising opportunity as well,, which is also very important for their state of mind.
Everybody has heard the old adage, “an old dog can’t learn new tricks”, and there is certainly some accuracy to this saying. The best time to start training a pet dog is when they’re still puppies, or adolescents, but once they’ve reached adulthood, behaviour has started to become engrained in who they are, which means that over-riding their learned behaviour is a lot more difficult.
Even though all of this is true, there are plenty of techniques that you can use which will have more impact than you might expect. If they already are quite obedient dogs in most cases, you may actually find it easier to train an adult dog than a puppy, as they are going to have a better understanding of instructions. Of course, it is also unfair to paint all adult dogs with the same brush, as a dog which is 3 years old is going to have an easier time of learning how to stop a bad habit than a dog which is 10 years old.
When you look at the route causes of a lack of obedience in a pet dog, it really comes down to two main areas. The first is the one we’ve just talked about last week; a breakdown in the relationship between you, the owner, and your pet dog. This can be because you don’t really have a good understanding of how to handle the relationship between you and your pet dog, or it could simply be that your current pet dog is just too much of a dominant force for you overcome. This can vary from individual to individual, with both the dogs and the people in the relationship.
The other one is simply that they aren’t leading active enough lives. For a dog to feel happy they need to have a sense of purpose or fulfilment, just like most humans. If your pet isn’t a working animal, you can accomplish this by keeping your pet active; walks, playing, and other physical activities. If your pet isn’t feeling fulfilled then the chances are that they are going to be acting out and developing bad habits. The amount of work that you’ll need to put into giving them this sense of fulfilment can also vary a lot depending upon the breed and the individual animal, with border collies famous for being particularly demanding.
Most behavioural issues with dogs have their origins in a lack of obedience to their owner. This is in a sense a good thing, as it will usually mean that trying to fix one thing – training obedience – will result in a lot of other issues being resolved. This can include things like aggression, possessive behaviour, destruction of property, potty training and a lot more.
One of the things which people don’t really consider when they start obedience training is how much of it is actually training the owner. You’ll find that dogs, even those with a more dominant nature, will act obediently if you, the owner, present yourself as the “pack leader”. A training course will teach your how to do this, as well as a lot of useful tips on how to correctly reward and punish good and bad behaviour respectively.
Dealing with the issues which we discussed in our previous post can be tricky, with a lot of potential for dealing with it the wrong way. Your best option is really to hire a qualified professional dog trainer to give you some advice face to face, but learning about it online can help with the less serious cases.
The most important thing that you need to remember is to remain patient. Whenever you’re dealing with a pet dog, you just need to look at it in much the same way as when dealing with a young child; don’t lose your cool, reward them for good behaviour (with affection and treats) but set clear lines and boundaries and remember to say no when they try to cross those lines. For dogs, this means that when you see bad behaviour you don’t let it go unchallenged, but good behaviour is rewarded with a “good boy” or perhaps being treated to something tasty or a nice toy.
One of the worst issues to deal with as a dog owner is with aggressive to highly aggressive dogs. Not only is a stressful and scary situation for anyone to deal with, but it is also very difficult to train out of them. There are a number of potential causes for aggressiveness in dogs, including lack of activity, poor training, and issues with dominance.
A lot of dogs are naturally dominant animals, and in order to deal with that situation an owner needs to be even more dominant. If the dog has a clear understanding of the hierarchy in the relationship they are going to behave better, but if they think they’re in charge they’ll do what they want and behave how they want. Sometimes with dominant dogs and submissive owners, it’s best to let the dog move to a different owner who is able to control the animal.
If they are acting aggressive because they don’t have an outlet through exercise, then this can enter a bit of a feedback loop: Because the dog is aggressive, you don’t want to risk exposing the dog to the public, which means that they don’t have their issues resolved and they continue to act aggressive.
The other potential cause we’ve mentioned is poor training. This often presents itself in the form of the owner not really understanding how to punish and reward there animal properly, which means that any bad behaviour of the pet dog could end up being reinforced by what they perceive to be a reward.
There are a lot of ways that you can go wrong with dog training. You could end up reinforcing bad habits, or perhaps the way you’ve been taught to punish your pet is actually abusive and not very constructive. The fact that these bad practices are often taught and not learned, and often because they are things which have been taught by professionals for years is a pretty sorry state.
With dog training, just like anything else that you do, whether you’re looking for legal services, or dental treatment, anything; you need to make sure that you vet those providing the services. Sometimes this can be done by reputation, but it is always a good to know what qualifications they have.
The qualifications that you need to look out for for a dog trainer are primarily a dog training instructor certificate. This is the main qualification that dog trainers need, but training in first aid for pets and people are also important for group activities. If their activities are recognised by a pet professional guild then that is also another level of validation worth having.