5 Ways To Make Your Dog Happy (And Easier To Manage)
Happy dogs mean that their needs are met, they are not desperate for one thing or another and that they naturally become more relaxed. We humans are in many cases so far removed from knowing and appreciating the simple needs of domestic dogs that we can make them frustrated without even trying. Frustration is directly related to less helpful behaviour. So, make some tiny tweaks today and help your dog to be happier and easier to manage.
Consider Their Needs
A dog pulled around a park, not being allowed to sniff is missing out on crucial life enrichment and fundamental needs. Letting your dog sniff uses up energy, lots of it so slowing down on a walk and allowing it to be your dog’s walk will naturally settle your dog. Just as we see the world – dogs sniff it, imaging being pulled away every time you wanted to look at something on the only walk you have a day?
Respect whether your dog wants to be touched or not. Respect that they do actually have needs too. Some are similar to our needs like the need for safety and a calm, relaxing space. Others are dog needs, like the need to do dog things such as play, bark, dig and chew. None of these things are bad behaviour – they are just dog behaviour, and part of our role as guardians is to help them practice it.
Engage With Them
Nothing makes me shudder more than seeing a dog ignored when they are so desperately asking for interaction. Can you imagine spending your whole life being ignored by the people you love and not knowing why? Dogs don’t ask for much and are much more balanced knowing that they matter to us. Even if you just start engaging with your dog for just 15 minutes a day, it will make them happier and much more secure.
Don’t Ever Blame Them!
This is really important. You can’t blame a dog you live with for acting like a dog, that’s like blaming yourself for acting like a human. Dogs are captive animals doing their best with a very difficult species – us. We need to look more closely at what we expect from them and help them to understand that, not blame them for doing their best in circumstances that are likely confusing to them.
Positive coaching and understanding are the very least we should be aiming for with the dogs in our homes. Dogs are not mind readers and they don’t automatically know what their random human wants now. We need to learn how they learn,. Work out why they are acting a certain way, take our own responsibility and show them how to succeed by doing something else, something more useful.
Dogs are wonderful animals who just want to be safe, cared for, stimulated and live interesting but secure lives. If we choose to bring them into our home, it’s up to us to fulfil their needs and still let them be the amazing animals that they are.
Sign up to my email list through the yellow button and get my free big book on Canine Coaching