A pet parent thinks that his dog is an obedient dog, but does things at his own will. This is not the case. Here, a dog trainer shares what the actual problem is.
A typical conversation that happens between a pet parent and a dog trainer: Pet parent: Hi, I have a dog to train.
Trainer: Sure, how can I help you? What breed is the dog?
Pet parent: I have a Labrador. She is 8 months old.
Trainer: Fine. Could you please let me know your requirement?
Pet parent: Well, my dog is super cool. She does everything I ask her to do. She is obedient.
Trainer: Good to hear that. How can I be of help to you?
Pet parent: Yeah, the issue is that she does everything only when she likes.
Trainer: Don’t worry. I will help you. Before that, please let me know your actual requirement. For what purpose you bought the dog? How much space do you have in your home for the dog?
Pet parent: I bought this dog for guarding purpose. She is good at that.
Trainer: Oh! Really? Then why doesn’t she bark while seeing me? Have you trained her for that?
Pet parent: No No… But she does bark when a stranger enters home.
Trainer: Are you keeping the dog inside a kennel or inside the home?
Pet parent: Inside the kennel. My wife doesn’t like dogs and can’t keep her inside.
Trainer: How many hours a day is she free (released from the kennel)?
Pet parent: We release her occasionally. May be once in five days or a week.
This conversation – I have frequently with people. What is important is pet owners should become PET PARENTS- and understand that their Dogs are Social BEINGS- they have emotions, and want to be loved and cared. Dogs should be kept in homes- as family members.
Trust and respect the dog: In the ideal world, the dog should obey the pet parent. For that the dog should have the feelings of respect and attachment towards the pet parent. This can’t be done overnight by hurting them or intimidating them. This can be achieved only with patience. Dogs, too, are prone to making thousand mistakes. But we should patiently correct them with the proper training methods. Also the word “trust” is an important keyword when it comes to dogs. If all the above are done without “trust,” then dogs would just try to escape from the pet parent.
Match your requirement with the breed: Before selecting a breed, we need to reconsider our requirements – such as the purpose of having a dog, the space in the house for the dog, the capacity to spend for the dog etc. Only after giving proper thought to all these, select a breed which is suitable for the home.
Mental stress: Another mistake is that the dog gets a release outside the kennel occasionally. A dog needs a minimum of 3 hours to be left free outside his kennel every day. Otherwise there are chances of mental stress for the dogs, as in humans. In the above case, the dog barks because of that. Actually, he is pleading even to the strangers, trying to get their attention and to release him. But the pet parent can’t understand or communicate with his dog. Pet parent is content that the dog is doing his duty.
Family@pet: Pets should be kept at home as an another valuable and precious member of you family. Also all the members in the family should agree before getting the pet in. The responsibility of taking care of a pet is of each member.
Positive Training & Partner with your Trainer: be the leader of your pets pack- this will make her look up to you. Treat her kindly with love and respect. Train Positively, set a desired action of good behavior- and whenever your pet does it reward her with her favourite treat. Always partner with your Trainer and work together in training. Depending on your dogs age initially keep training session short and ensure to have fun with your pet. The pet responds to the tone of your voice and excitement level. Be patient with your pet. Look at the world from your Pets perspective. Always make her HEART HAPPY, in return you will get years of unconditional love, joy, happiness beyond compare.
Exercise, Walks, Play is a necessity: This is mandatory without it the dog gets depressed. Spend quality time with her and physically and mentally keep her active. You have the world but for your pet you are her world. Become her world and become the PERFECT PET PARENT!
(Pratheek Premkumar is professional dog trainer based in Kerala; since early years he has been fascinated by animals of all types and sizes).