It was a few years ago that I came across a television advertisement where the husband and wife play the role of dog and bitch (pun intended!) with the message being that when you pick a ‘mate for life’, one has to be careful as it will result in that ‘marry at haste, repent at leisure’ kind of situation, with which quite a few people are familiar with.
Relationships of all kind are under scrutiny these days with both parties looking to play the ‘alpha’ & ‘beta’ role. But no matter what you say, the relationship between men/ women and their ‘man/woman Friday’ has always been comforting to say the least.
Dog Psychology & Training them ‘The Right Way’
While Ivan Pavlov used dogs to illustrate ‘classical conditioning’… he wasn’t trying to train them, as that is a cruel way to treat animals (like lab rats) but of course, all in the name of science! This is mentioned because the old-school form of training used fear and harsh training methods to train an animal to obey.
It’s strange how we humans also respond much quicker to fear more than love…
As hard as it sounds but any relationships and especially with beasts, the feeling of mutual respect and trust are vital, no matter how sub-human (for lack of a better word!) people consider them to be.
With this kind of trust built, the master will begin to feel confidence in controlling their animal (especially if it is ferocious in nature).
A lot of experts believe that rather than suppressing a dog’s natural instincts and drives (which is the animal equivalent of ‘lobotomizing’ the poor beast), one must train them to use it in a manner that is useful to the animal and its surroundings – not detrimental. And as always, suppression has never known to yield good results either for man/ woman or beast.
If one ensures that the objective of his training is produce a dog that is happy and outgoing while being given the opportunity to socialize rather than being kept like a caged animal, the happiness this bring both to the owner and the dog are numerous. As bizarre as this might sound, the best results often come from training that are presented in a positive and NON VIOLENT manner.
In approaching training this way, you can easily teach a dog to respond to a ‘command’ for practically any purpose that you would see fit.
Basic Dog Training Tips
Although the use of an experienced dog trainer is recommended, there are some simple tips of dog training that we can use to train a puppy or dog which can span anything from obedience training to specialized areas such as protecting people and property, law enforcement, assistance to people with disabilities and so on and so forth. So, let’s focus on ‘obedience training’ in assuming that most of us have nothing to do with the aforementioned specialized dog training types.
Normally, there are six behaviors associated with obedience training such as ‘Sit’, ‘Down’, ‘Stay’, ‘Recall’, ‘Close’ or ‘Heel’, which uses the approach where only desired behavior is rewarded while undesirable behavior is just IGNORED instead of punished.
However, there are a three others that can be of help to you personally as well the folks in the neighborhood:
How to train a dog:
1) Not to bite
One of the simplest methods is to divert the dog’s attention by tugging his leash and directing his attention to something more productive.
2) To fetch the newspaper
Throw a tennis ball while having the dog retrieving it for you, while being on a leash. If it’s not on a leash, pretend to walk away after the dog has retrieved the ball.
3) Not to bark at visitors
Barking at visitors can seem threatening, so the trick is to teach it to ‘sit’ as soon as the doorbell rings.
Using a kennel crate is a fast and effective way to housebreak your dog, because they are less likely to pee or poop where they sleep.
There’s a big difference between persuasion and coercion, and perhaps in relationships if people did comprehend that the former is always better than the latter, perhaps things would be different today, but in any case, there are some folks who need others ‘to throw them a bone’ etc. And therein lies the ‘catch’…
Best Dog Foods
I remember my uncle once saying that he wouldn’t give his dog what he wouldn’t eat. The same applies for all pets that one wants to keep, especially dogs. So it doesn’t matter whether you prepare the food yourself using items from the grocery store or the health store or as in most cases, the owner buys dog food that are commercially available.
Even though it is often argued as to which diet is the best, since dogs for thousands of years have thrived on scraps and leftovers given by their owners.
However, as in most cases, people’s opinion counts for nothing as each breed has different requirements, so the argument is subjective.
However, these days, dog food can be classified as wet, dry, and alternative dog food that are either freeze-dried, dehydrated, fresh, or home-cooked meals in a Tupperware-like package.
Dog Food Contents
Also popularly known as ‘kibble’, store-bought dry food is considered generally healthier than canned food because it is low in water content. Not only is it considered healthier but also convenient and not too expensive.
Several nutrients are used such as barley, rice, beef, corn, chicken meal and soy are also commonly used to provide the right nutrition. What you should be aware of is that dog food containing meat-and-bone meals, offal, grain by-products and horse meat are normally considered unhealthy or unsuitable as a meal for dogs, so one should check the nutrition label before purchasing just any dog food off the shelf or take recommendations from the veterinarian.
The type of food that you pick off the shelf should contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals that will keep the dog healthy, thus increasing the longevity of life as well.
So, let’s look at a list of healthy dry dog foods you can purchase from the store to provide an overall healthy meal for your pet dog.
Healthy Dog Food Options
It contains 70% meat and 30% fruit and vegetables, so it contains fresh and natural ingredients to keep your dog healthy. Most pet owners and experts recommend this particular brand. Another advantage is that it relies on potatoes for carbohydrates and does not use grains at all, which can avoid the issue of grain intolerance that some dogs have to deal with.
This one uses the concept of probiotics, with proteins on the top of its nutrient list. Since the meal consists mainly of meat, fish and veggies while being rich in vitamins, minerals, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, this is also considered to be an excellent source of nutrition for your pet dog. We feed our white german shepherds this, and they have never been healthier, physically or visually.
3. Merrick Dog Food
Considered a human grade dog food, this is one of the best and well-known dogs made available at your store that is known for containing the best food ingredients while being completely antibiotic and hormone free. Not only that but since it does not contain any by-products, artificial chemical preservatives or additives, this dog food is highly recommended.
Some excellent choices for dog food are Canidae, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Nutro, Wellness Dog Food, Wysong Maintenance, California Natural Dog Food and Dick Van Patten Natural Balance Dog Food that are all low-priced despite being premium foods.
Even though some people go to ridiculous (and laughable) lengths in ensuring comfort for their pets, buying them good food or preparing a nutritious meal with affection can go a long way in keeping your dog happy and healthy.
Dog Training Tips – What You Need to Know
While kids everywhere else in the world (especially in Finland!) relax and probably enjoy their studies, the kids in India aren’t so lucky.
Everyone else already has a laptop and is well-versed with it, and yet our children continue to do things the old-fashioned way.
It’s typical of this country to lag behind in a number of departments but it’s sacrilege when it comes to hampering the future of our nation. To be honest, this has been my biggest gripe for a while now, thanks to being able to see the difference the way different education systems work.
At least, they don’t hit children anymore because this generation of kids are more than happy to stand up to their adults and rebel verbally and violently.
Speaking of disciplinary action such as this, why should we use it especially since most dog trainers have moved away from training dogs this way as well. There are certain cases, like training dogs in a city, that can make things more difficult. However, a few simple tips can help one navigate these sometimes troublesome waters.
A Few Thoughts on Dog Training
You might say that humans and animals are different but it begs the question: Is cruelty necessary?
It isn’t, truly. But that’s how dogs have been trained in the past.
The general attitude towards teaching obedience training has been harsh, to say the least. Whether it is a beating or even shock collars to keep them in check, one wonders if it is fair since we wouldn’t be allowed to treat humans that way too.
So, it is not with love and affection that the poor canines were trained but by subjugation and inculcating behaviors that were forced due to the “fear of punishment.”
Thankfully, common sense prevailed, and a method known as ‘positive reinforcement’ has changed the way dog training is done now.
In other words, instead of punishing them for bad behavior, we reward them for good behavior instead.
What does happen is that when they are rewarded, they tend to do what pleases the ‘master’ if only for a few more treats.
It is how school children should be treated as well when learning manners too. One should refrain from criticizing their children but encouraging them for their achievements, however minimal.
That said, here are a few dog training tips that one can use even if the services of a dog trainer isn’t required at all.
Dog Training Tips – The Basics
The most popular commands that are taught are sit, down, heel, recall, stay and close where the right behavior is rewarded and the wrong is ignored.
While these commands are necessary, there are others that can cause problems with friends and family, and so here are a few situations that a dog must be trained for:
#1: Not to Bite
When they have the urge to bite, tug at their leash so as to divert their attention to something else that interests him or her.
#2: Fetch an object
Throw a tennis ball and walk away so that the dog gets it back for you. Then you can teach it to fetch other objects such as the newspaper too as it understand the meaning of this command.
#3: Not to bark at visitors
Since this can be scary for visitor, train them to “sit” as soon as the doorbell rings.
#4: Crate training puppies
Using a kennel crate works best as they are more likely to pee or poop when they are asleep.
So, are there any other dog training tips that you would like to add to this list? Feel free to add them in the comments section below.
Also, here is an article on the best dog foods.
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