Apparently, one of the biggest issues most dog owners face is antisocial behaviour in their pet. Any thing from fear to hyperactivity to dominance, our canine companions can run into some pretty big roadblocks if we don’t know how to socialize them right.
The most important thing is that we fulfill our dogs basic needs: exercise, rules, boundaries, limitations, and affection. This creates trust and respect, which in turn creates loyalty, from both owner and pet.
When we look at our dog as animal first, then dog, then breed, and then personality, it makes sense to fill their first need-exercise. The walk, when done properly, creates both trust and respect, and drains excess energy and builds up muscles and increases health. Swimming is a great trust building, low force type of exercise. Using a treadmill is awesome for higher energy dogs or when you just don’t have the time to do a proper walk. Bred specific exercises include herding, tracking, etc.
Rules, boundaries, limitations:
Creating and enforcing rules with boundaries and limitations is super important to a well balanced, social dog. It creates psychological exercise, builds trust and respect between both parties, and can be an extremely fulfilling experience. Make sure you know what your house and social rules are for your dog, and be consistent! They cannot rationalize, so if you stay consistent they will unquestionably obey. They are always looking for leadership; be that much needed leader today!
Petting, feeding, giving water, taking to the dog park, a simple smile are all great examples of affection. What we need to learn is the right time to give affection. Dogs are simple: if you give affection when they are nervous, you are telling them it is ok to be nervous. If you pet them when they are unsure, you are giving them permission to not trust you to take care of the situation they are unsure if. Imagine what it means to give affection when they are ein aggressive…not a good idea. It’s best to give affection when they are in the state of mind you want. If they are quiet and obedient, give affection.
It’s so important to see the signs in your dog, and to give them enough respect as canines to fulfill their primal needs in the order above!