9 tips for Optimum Health and Growth of your dog .
Common sense indicates that if you put in a little effort upfront, you will have a far better chance of success with everything you attempt. In other words, create an atmosphere conducive to achievement. Bring all of your equipment with you if you’re a builder; prepare all of your ingredients if you’re a chef; and if you’re an athlete going to compete, make sure you ate a decent breakfast, remembered your track shoes, and warmed up with stretching exercises before jumping into the starting blocks. Being properly prepared is the basis on which we build our lives.
- Food (a high-quality diet)
- Quiet Time (relaxation)
- Employment (mental stimulation)
- Rest (proper sleep)
- Education (training and discipline)
- Health Care (including dental health)
The same is true when it comes to nurturing and teaching your canine companion. The key to success is preparation. This takes us to the first of the Nine Ingredients for Optimal Health and Growth, which is Vitamin D.
If these essential nutrients are delivered in a balanced manner, they serve as stepping stones to a healthy body and a healthy life, promoting good ideas and activities. However, if each element is not delivered inadequate amount or quality, a barrier emerges, compromising physical, mental, and emotional health. As a consequence, our whole conduct suffers, as does our drive and willpower to do anything.
It’s not required to be flawless. To be honest, it’s dubious that perfection is even conceivable. We all have hectic schedules and several obligations. After all, even if we don’t receive the same quantity of food, sleep, or fun time every day, we can still survive.
Our pets are no exception. The challenge is to make all of these healthy habits by incorporating all of these life necessities into our lives on a reasonably constant basis. The objective is to achieve balance, and constancy is essential.
Let’s take a look at how an imbalance of just a few of the Nine Ingredients might influence your dog’s behavior. Perhaps you want to wow your friends by teaching your dog a fun skill like “playing the piano.” Even little dogs may be trained to jump on the piano bench in order to reach and strike the keys.
However, if you or your dog is distracted and unable to focus due to hunger pains, discomfort, or lethargy caused by a diet low in high-quality nutrients, a lack of sleep, a lack of adequate exercise, or an aching tooth, teaching or learning the trick will be very difficult. The greater your alertness, the better.
The right balance of the Nine Ingredients may make a big difference in the effectiveness of your training—and potentially your and your dog’s safety.
Review the list of Nine Ingredients whenever you have an issue with your dog or with yourself. If any element seems to be a blockage due to a lack of amount or quality, utilize the habit training method to restore equilibrium.
Nutrition (a high-quality diet).
Sugars, by-products, artificial colors, and additives should all be avoided. Many canine nutritionists also recommend restricting your dog’s intake of wheat and maize, since these grains have been related to allergies.
Use high-quality dog food, particularly manufactured with organic, free-range beef. A raw meat diet is currently recommended by several holistic veterinarians. Learn about the advantages of raw meat.
Chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, oily meals, and cooked bones should never be given to your dog. Some (but not all) dogs are allergic to chocolate, grapes, raisins, and onions. Pancreatitis may be caused by eating too many oily meals. Cooked meat bones should never be fed to your dog since they might shatter and cause choking. Also, make sure your dog or puppy cannot reach the garbage can to fetch any banned foods.
(Note that raw chicken bones do not splinter as easily as cooked ones, making them less harmful.)
Fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apples and watermelon, should be included in your dog’s diet.
When altering your dog’s diet, do it gradually to allow her to become used to the new food.
2: Have fun.
Play a variety of activities, such as fetch with tennis balls and Frisbees, tug of war, find it, hide-and-seek (Peek-a-boo, see page 98), and obstacle courses with tunnels, stairs, and jumps.
Bring your dog with you everywhere you go, even to work and on errands. Note: If your dog is left in a vehicle or yard in hot weather, she may suffer from heatstroke. In hot weather, cracking a vehicle window for fresh air doesn’t help since the temperature inside increases as the sun bakes down on it. Also keep in mind that as the sun moves, a vehicle parked in the shade one minute may be in full light the next.
On a hot summer day, if the temperature outside is 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the interior of the automobile may reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in half an hour. If your dog’s body temperature rises to 107 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just 5 to 7 degrees over average, she risks brain damage or death. (A dog’s typical body temperature is 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Attend canine training courses, including agility, water work, service training, and tracking if feasible.
4. Quiet Time (relaxation).
Teach your dog to go to his own location and to leave the dog alone while he’s sleeping.
Include everyday physical activity: Ask your veterinarian about the sorts and amounts of exercise that are appropriate for your dog, such as aerobic (running and walking), strength (pulling and uphill treks), and balance (walking bleacher stairs, agility, and teaching “beg”) (smaller dogs only). On hot days, avoid overexertion and make sure your dog gets enough water.
Bring water for your dog with you on a long walk or trek.
Regularly massage your dog. It’s an excellent instrument for bonding.
Ingredient #6: Workplace (mental stimulation)
Give your dog a “work” to perform, such as teaching Find It, Fetch, or how to place toys in a play box.
Only allow your dog to dig in “authorized” sections of the yard.
Use automated toys like automatic tennis ball machines and treat-dispensing toys like the Kong dispenser, which delivers a “new” Kong on a timed basis.
Rest (ingredient #7) (proper sleep)
Establish a timetable or regimen that allows your dog to sleep uninterrupted.
Children should never be allowed to touch your dog unless you are very convinced that he would not bite. Instead, stir him up with noises like gentle clapping or whistling, being cautious not to startle him.
When awakening a dog that is whimpering, moving, or “running” in his sleep, be very careful.
Education is ingredient #8. (training and discipline)
Sit, down, stay, come, go-to-spot, locate it, leave it, drop it, and walk without tugging are all essential behaviors to teach.
Prepare your dog for noise, movement, and contact.
Health Care is the ninth ingredient.
Visit your veterinarian on a regular basis.
Make dental care a part of your dog’s hygiene regimen and get his teeth cleaned as required.
Grooming helps with hygiene and health. Some dogs need a lot more grooming than others. Make a grooming regimen based on your dog’s individual demands, which are determined by the coat type of his breed.
You are giving a rock-solid foundation and the healthiest atmosphere for success by maintaining the Nine Ingredients in balance.
Creating a Safe and Successful Environment
Love, compassion, safety, and fun are at the heart of positive training. Controlling your dog’s independence goes a long way toward creating healthy habits and molding positive behavior. It’s the same approach you’d use with a youngster. “Honey, I’m going for the day,” you would never hand a youngster a box of crayons and say.
These crayons must not be used.” You wouldn’t anticipate much success if someone has a poor habit of overeating and has business meetings at the neighborhood pancake place for breakfast, noon, and supper.
Similarly, you can’t put a dog who digs in a yard and tell him, “Don’t dig” OR put a dog who chews in a room full of slippers and tell him, “Don’t chew” OR put a dog who jumps in a room full of family members and tell him, “Don’t jump.” OR
Allow a dog that barks at the postal carrier unrestricted access to the front window and tell him or her, “Don’t bark.”
A successful setting is one in which a dog is unable to accomplish anything that you do not want her to. When a dog is left alone, her erroneous behavior may rapidly become a “bad” habit since it is encouraged. To put it another way, digging, gnawing, leaping, and barking are all psychologically and physically stimulating behaviors.
These acts are pleasurable because they alleviate boredom, excess energy, and tension. As a result, it’s critical to create an atmosphere that prevents certain behaviors from occurring. It’s all about discipline, which means we have to set rules and establish behavioral limits.
In a nutshell, a disciplined atmosphere is analogous to a youngster being “home-schooled.” Our job as educators and “life coaches” for our dogs is to first and foremost establish a learning environment. Simply put, leadership entails managing whatever your dog wants and teaching him that he can have anything he wants as long as he behaves correctly.
Setting up an atmosphere that is safe for you, your dog, and the surroundings is the key to making this happen. Once this environment is in place, we can educate our dogs on what to do and what not to do step by step. They gain self-control as a consequence. They discover that their actions bring them the results they want. This promotes a calm, confident disposition.
Furthermore, a secure setting helps canines to explore the world independently. They develop confidence from their accomplishments and learn to withstand their errors. This leads to a theme that I always emphasize: safety via prevention and control.
Confinement and restraint
Parents are masters at preventing difficulties for their children by creating safe surroundings for them. To keep a kid-safe, a parent baby-proofs the surroundings by picking up objects from the floor, removing breakable items from the coffee table and end tables, installing safety locks on cabinets, and so on. The parent also uses baby gates and playpens to limit the youngster to specified places.
While required, such as when ascending stairs or crossing streets, the parent holds the child’s hand. With a dog, it’s the same thing. It is vital to “dog-proof” the surroundings and keeps the dog under physical control until the dog has shown to be trustworthy.
Doesn’t it seem reasonable? The issue is that constraining a dog’s freedom is incompatible with human nature. For one thing, it doesn’t seem secure not to be free to do what we want, when we want. Furthermore, if our activities are essentially chained by someone else, anxiety and dissatisfaction are quickly provoked.
As a result, seeing a dog chained prompts our pity. At our core, we’re “softies.”
Restraint and confinement are disliked by both dogs and humans.
Tethering restricts freedom; restricting restricts freedom within limitations such as behind a barrier such as a baby gate, door, exercise pen, or fence.
Living with a dog provides us with the opportunity to live vicariously via them. Dogs serve as a reminder of our inner freedom and natural condition of being present. Seeing a dog run about, play, and leap awakens a primitive thrill inside us all. So, what is the solution?
The challenge is to modify not just your dog’s attitude about being restricted and confined, but also your attitude against limiting your dog’s freedom. Counterconditioning is used to achieve this. Counter-conditioning is a technique that involves replacing an opposing response for the way you or your dog feels about something.
For example, some people dislike tying a dog to anything because it restricts her independence. When you think about it, walking your dog on a leash is basically tying your dog. As a result, altering how you think about it affects how you feel about it.
What if you trained your dog to bring her leash when you went for a stroll together? This is a pleasant and engaging trick. As a result of connecting this tactic with walking, your attitude about tethering has shifted. You’ve really modified how your dog feels about being restricted and counter-conditioned how you feel about restricting him.
Another example: putting a dog into a crate is unpleasant for both you and your dog. Imagine training your dog to rush inside his “office” on his own and closing the door behind him! What a brilliant ruse! By connecting the kennel with the term “office,” you’ve altered your perception of it and made the activity enjoyable. Furthermore, by connecting the kennel with play, dinner time, and delicious goodies, dogs might come to like the thought of going inside one. If you enjoy this concept, you’ll start saying “office” instead of “kennel” or “crate” whenever you want your dog to go there.
Dogs and humans notice an instant improvement by merely altering their viewpoint and looking at the kennel in a fun manner. Rather of seeing restraint and confinement as negative experiences, the training process has evolved into a game. It becomes enjoyable. Here are a few perspective shifters to assist you to understand how to use counter-conditioning:
If a youngster falls and gets a boo-boo, instruct the child to take a bow and exclaim “Ta-Da!” instead of kissing it and making it well.
When you accidentally stomp on your dog’s tail, instead of coddling him, exclaim, “Yay!” That was fantastic! “Here’s a chicken chunk!”
Harnesses and Collars
Positive training utilizes the use of painless collars and harnesses. Choke collars, also known as training collars or slip collars, prong collars, and shock collars are all undesirable because they have the potential to harm the dog. The usage of these sorts of collars is predicated on the idea that inflicting pain or suffering on your dog will persuade him to perform what you want.
The key line is that no jerking is required to get your dog to perform what you desire.
I propose the following collars and harnesses:
Smaller dogs and puppies: Choose a body harness collar that wraps across your front half.
Choose a Martingale-style collar, such as this one from Premier Pet Products, for medium to big dogs. Martingale collars do not entirely round the dog’s neck, removing the risk of choking.
For dogs that tug on the leash, start with a body harness like Premier Pet Products’ Easy Walker or Dr. Roger Mugford’s Halti Harness. These harnesses are intended to keep you from pulling.
Dogs who pull benefit from head-halter-style collars (also known as nose harness collars). There are various types and designs that I suggest, including Premier’s Gentle Leader, Dr. Roger Mugford’s Halti Headcollar, and K9 Bridle, which is created in England. They function on the principle that the body follows the head. These collars are readily adjusted by most dogs.
Allow enough slack for the dog to welcome another dog, which may include looking away, smelling the ground, or turning his side to the other dog.
Some people mistake halter-style collars for muzzles, leading them to believe that dogs wearing them are dangerous.
Dogs can bark, eat, drink, and even bite while wearing halter-style collars, unlike muzzles. To alleviate this fear, I recommend selecting a collar that matches the color of the dog’s coat or is brightly colored, giving the impression that the collar is playful and nonthreatening.
Make sure the collar or harness you choose isn’t too tight. Two fingers should be able to fit between the collar and the dog’s neck.