Thursday, May 24, 2007

More Than "Good Girl, Polly"

Introducing, the Dog Whisperer... (So much to quote and learn! So little space!!!)

What you need to know to be a dog owner:
DOGS ARE NOT PEOPLE. They don't have the same needs, and they interpret the world differently. Dogs are unimpressed by fancy dog clothes, expensive toys, large houses, or what you do for a living. What they desire is regular exercise, a stable pack leader, and affection that is properly earned.

DOGS EXPERIENCE THE WORLD WITH THEIR NOSE, EYES, AND THEN EARS. Many humans communicate to their canine companions "backward," using sound, then sight, and generally ignoring scent. When meeting a dog for the first time, establish his trust by allowing him to experience your scent before engaging in eye contact or speaking to him.

BREED IS NOT DESTINY. Many people blame the breed of the dog for problem behaviors. This is like making a generalization about human races -- like saying all Latinos are lazy, or all Italians are mobsters. Although certain dog breeds have been selected to accentuate certain characteristics, all dogs share the same innate abilities. Selecting a dog with an energy level level that's compatible with your energy and lifestyle is far more important than choosing the right breed.

DOGS NEED LEADERSHIP. Without a strong, stable pack leader, dogs feel insecure and can develop issues -- such as anxiety, phobias, fears, aggression, and obsessions. In order to establish yourself as the pack leader, you must master the walk and be sure to follow the guideline, "Exercise, discipline, and then affection."

What your dog needs but NOT getting it:
BALANCED ENERGY. Dogs feed off your energy, so always remain calm and assertive in their presence! If you are frazzled, your dog will be too. And by "assertive," I don't mean angry or aggressive. Be compassionate, but quietly in control. This is the energy your dog needs from you in order to feel safe and secure.

MENTAL CHALLENGES. All animals need to feel they have a purpose in life. Like humans, dogs get bored. Provide your dog with mental challenges -- like a game of catch, an agility course, or a reward-oriented obedience game.

A JOB. All dogs were born to work. They are at their best when they know what their job is within the pack. For some dogs, the walk alone may fulfill this desire. But other dogs may have special abilities they are dying to show off, such as herding, retrieving, pulling, digging, or hunting.

PROPER WALKS. This is something I cannot stress enough: dogs need walks. Having a big backyard is not a substitute for taking your dog on a walk. To your dog, your beautiful landscaped acreage is just one large kennel. Migration is a primal need for dogs. But just walking your dog may not be enough; you need to master the walk, using the activity to establish yourself as the pack leader.


Alvin said...

Hey yalar, was in a “camwhore” mode that day. LOL. What to do. Bearing in mind I’m not really fond of taking pictures. So that day was a breakthrough for me lor. Better believe it. HAHA.

Dog whisperer pulak. HAHa. But all your points here very true. Very true. I had 3 dogs before. But now, a bit too busy to have the time to take care. One huge rottweiler, a dog (don’t know what breed), and one cocker spaniel, something like that lar. One died, two gave away.

Yeah miss those lil fellas when I read your post.


Leishia J said...

aww, i miss all the little fellas the world over too when i read my own posts! *sigh*

i want a dog farm *bawls*!!!!

The New Parent said...

Hi L--what a wonderful post. I do have a dog and you speak straight to the point. They are amazing pets, but need all you are saying.

Thanks for this, it's right on target!