Primary needs of a dog within the family structure
All dogs need a clear understanding that the humans in it’s household are the ‘leaders of the pack’.
- Designate a place for your dog’s crate, den or bed. You need to decide where the dog will sleep and be certain that the dog sleeps there.
- Consistency of all family members in following the rules enforcing the boundaries and an understanding of why this is important.
- Owner established territorial and psychological boundaries for the dog
- Designate a place for your dog to eat and drink. Water should be available at all times. It is recommended that the dog’s food should not be left down after feeding.
- Kitchen manners are essential to establish from the beginning. Your dog should not be taking food from the table, begging or being fed from the table. Your dog will not be offended by this as he will see this as his natural and rightful place in the pack.
- Designated doggy toys and play area. Designate a place for your dog to eliminate.
- By providing rules and boundaries, and providing calm assertive leadership in the ‘pack’, your dog can develop positive behaviors that will substitute for other instinctual behavior patterns, such as chasing, fighting, etc.
- Meeting the dogs needs
- Give your dog a sense of security by having the owner assume the position of ‘pack leader’ under any and all circumstances.
- Always be consistent in your interactions with your dog. Corrections should immediately follow the dog’s negative behavior. Dogs live in the now. .They don’t remember what happened five minutes ago, so corrections must be well timed. Many times a simple verbal correction with appropriate energy will be adequate. Show your dog the right behavior.
- Praise your dog only when the dog is in a calm submissive state of mind.
- Establish with your dog a system of communication with consistent commands and energy which he can understand.
- Teach him consistent rules and boundaries to enable him to cope with his environment. A dog does not understand a holiday or vacation from rules. Inconsistency will be perceived by your dog as weakness in the ‘pack leader’.
- Approach your training with calm assertive energy. Teach him to respect and trust you by handling him in a consistent manner. It is your overall attitude, your state of mind and energy that the dog is picking up and processing in his mind.
- Physical needs of food, fresh water, and exercise appropriate for the breed.
- Health needs of vaccinations, parasite control, and regular veterinarian visits as necessary.
- Psychological needs
III. Understand your responsibilities as a dog owner in your community
- Be aware of your dog’s behavior when you are not at home. If problems exist (such as charging the fence after the mailman or meter reader) deal with these problem situations to avoid an incidence when you are not around. Keep your dog contained at all times. Adhere to leash laws, licensing and rabies vaccination requirements.
- Serve as a canine ‘good will’ ambassador to your neighbors. Be open to concerns that your neighbors might have about your dog and fix any problems before things get out of hand. Be available as a resource to other neighbors, and be the good example others can aspire to.
- IV. If you are not planning to exhibit in conformation and/or weight pull or breed your dog, after consulting with your veterinarian and at an appropriate age, please consider spaying or neutering your dog.