Mistakes are part of our human nature. Nobody is flawless, there is no such thing as a perfect parent, a perfect dog owner, a perfect wife. There are too many articles on this topic already. My advices are based on experience. These are the most common problems adoptive parents face and the results might even be returning the dog. The excuses are always based on what the dog does or doesn’t do, but it is never really the dog’s fault.
So here is what I have seen so far:
Exercise is crucial, and for a pet dog it is the most important part of the day
Not enough exercise
People tend to think that a big dog will be fine, provided that it has a garden to run around, or that a small dog will be ok having the balcony or the porch as its toilet. Would you like to spend your entire life in an apartment or trapped in a garden? To see, smell and hear the same things every single day? No, you wouldn’t. Exercise is crucial, and for a pet dog it is the most important part of the day. Pet dogs need to be walked at least twice per day, in order for them to be happy and relaxed when at home. Many behavioral problems can be fixed immediately, once a dog starts getting the exercise it needs. As they say, a dog’s world is its nose. So we don’t walk them to pee, we walk them because they need the exercise, and the toilet is just a bonus.
Not quality exercise
Nothing seems to be enough. When it comes to exercise, it’s not about the amount, it’s about the quality.
Many people argue that even if they take their dogs for long walks, they are still hyperactive and unhappy. Nothing seems to be enough. When it comes to exercise, it’s not about the amount, it’s about the quality. Having the dog walk in front of you, pulling you, barking at everything it sees and having no control whatsoever is wrong. The result is having a dog that hasn’t had enough – actually, a dog that doesn’t know what he is supposed to have enough of, and an owner who sees the daily walk as a burden. There are techniques that will help you and your dog enjoy some quality time when out – don’t try doing what you think it’s right – get professional help, it’s what trainers are for!
Never leaving the dog alone
A quiet dog lying in his bed is a happy one. He is not bored, he is not depressed and he doesn’t need you to constantly remind him of your presence.
Here’s the thing, dogs sleeps 12-14 hours per day. They sleep that much because they need it. Don’t bother them when they are lying quietly in their beds. Do you like being disturbed when you are asleep? Well, nobody does. They might be ridiculously cute when they sleep, but you need to hold it together! A quiet dog lying in his bed is a happy one. He is not bored, he is not depressed and he doesn’t need you to constantly remind him of your presence. He knows you are there, but he needs to relax. So leave him be!
Using dogs as accessories
They miss us too, but if they had enough exercise in the morning, they will be more than happy to lie on their beds and sleep, until you come back from work
It sounds bad, and it is as bad as it sounds. I know you love them, I know you want to have them around a lot, but dragging them to work, to family meetings, to the beach, to cafeterias and bars, shopping etc 24/7 will never let them relax. They miss us too, but if they had enough exercise in the morning, they will be more than happy to lie on their beds and sleep, until you come back from work. People who adopt tend to believe that they need to have the dogs with them at all times. But a dog that comes from the routine of a shelter life has so many new things to absorb, that having to deal with new faces, new people, new noises, new experiences 24/7 can literally destroy him.
Good dog!/ Bad dog!
Get on the couch – let’s relax together/Get off the couch – we have guests
Here’s a small bite of what I just ate / Go to your bed, I don’t like you begging for food
Let’s spend the night together on my bed/ Get off the bed, my boyfriend is here tonight
I love it when you jump on me/ Don’t jump on me, I’m dressed up to go out
Who’s there? Who’s at the door? Who’s ringing the bell?/ Stop barking, it’s annoying
Untie Jessica is here, she loves dogs, you can lick her from top to bottom/ Untie Anna is here, she’s allergic to dogs, go to your bed and don’t come near her
This morning we’ll take a looong walk/ I have not time to walk you this morning, I’m late for work. You can pee on the balcony
You chewing my slippers when I’m out means you love me/ Why would you chew my new high heels? They cost a fortune! Why can’t you stick to slippers?
Good dog!/ Bad dog!
Are you paranoid already? Stop confusing them!
Would you like to be treated like a dog?
This will be too long and needs an entire post to analyze it properly. Here’s a hint: yes, we adore them, we would give our lives for them, they are like children – “LIKE” children, but they are not children. They are not humans and projecting our human emotions to them will only result to behavioral problems. Would you like to be treated like a dog? To be walked twice per day on a leash, sleep on a bed on the floor and pee in the garden? Would you be a happy human? Dogs that are not treated as dogs are unhappy, just as humans who are not treated as humans are.