Your dog needs to be able to exhibit normal behaviour in order to enjoy his life with you. There are several facts you need to know about how a dog behaves and why.
A dog’s behaviour, as we at Finchley dog walker know, is dictated by his breed, age, personality and past experience. And we understand that there are several rules that a dog owner must live by in order to have a happy, well-behaved dog.
- Training, preferably reward-based training helps him to learn what is expected of him and what is acceptable behaviour. A well-trained dog is easier to control and his good behaviour leads to a better quality of life for him and you.
- Dogs are playful animals with a love of playing with toys, people or other dogs. This can be harnessed to enhance his training; toys can be rewards.
- All dogs need regular exercise regardless of breed, with plenty of opportunities to walk, explore and run off his energy. Being out in the fresh air allows a dog to use his ability to explore smells and to leave behind his own scent as a means of communicating his presence to other dogs. This too can help with training and behaviour.
- NarpsUK have a good FAQ section on exercising your dog.
An ill-trained or unconfident dog can suffer from bad or unusual behaviour which may manifest in several ways.
- Punishment instead of reward can lead to a dog becoming frightened and exhibiting unwanted behaviour.
- Any frightening experience can lead to unwanted behaviour.
- A dog must be allowed to avoid things that frighten him. If he can’t hide he may suffer psychologically so give him a safe den to hide in.
- If a dog’s behaviour changes suddenly it could mean he is ill, distressed or just bored.
When choosing a dog, make sure you get one which is right for your home and your lifestyle. Do your research.
Start training straight away and use only reward-based training, not punishment or shouting, which will frighten him and make him unresponsive.
Regular daily exercise and mental stimulation will make for a happy, contented dog. Always take your vet’s advice if you’re worried about your dog’s health.
Give him lots of safe toys, plenty to do and regular opportunities to interact with people and other dogs. You, the family and friends should be consistent in your reactions to the dog.
If his behaviour changes or if he shows signs of stress or aggression, seek advice from a vet or animal behaviourist.