So you’ve recently added a new member to the household? Congratulations! There’s nothing like opening up your heart and home to a brand new dog. Your days are sure to be filled with feedings, playtime, long walks and endless nights of cuddling! However, what many new dog owners aren’t anticipating are the countless days of dealing with barking, biting, chewing, unexplainable behavior and general mischievousness that comes along with all the cuteness.
If you can take the time to learn what’s going through your pup’s head and how it directly effects the behaviors you see, you’ll be well on your way to forging an inseparable bond built on understanding and trust. Not only that, you’ll stop thinking just like a human and you’ll begin processing things like a dog – making you particularly effective in canine communication.
Common Canine Triggers
If you’ve ever gone to a dog park then you probably know exactly what we’re talking about. What else do you expect with a bunch of excited pups who are unleashed and unfamiliar with one another? This environment can be one that makes your dog so excited he doesn’t listen, or it can be particularly stressful if your pup hasn’t been properly socialized and introduced to new situations.
Going out for walks
Going for walks is one way dogs and owners bond. Some dogs become extremely aggressive when on a leash, though. Sometimes their aggressiveness is brought on by a natural instinct to protect themselves and their owner in an environment that is perceived as hostile. Feeling “trapped” on a leash is something that can lead to regular anxiety.
Dogs already know that being at the vet clinic means something unsavory is about to happen. Add in all of the other smells of pets dealing with some sort of malady along with whimpering, and you can sense the same sort of fear that might be common in a human child visiting the doctor.
For a dog not used to being around a lot of other dogs for an extended period of time, this can be an overly stimulating experience in which they are operating almost exclusively off instinct. Who are all these other dogs? Are they friend? Foe? (Good thing Pawderosa Ranch makes kenneling a painless, fun process for your pup).
Someone else’s house
Your dog probably acts like an angel in your own home, but if you’ve ever taken them to someone else’s house, more than likely you’ve had to deal with a difficult dog. Some dogs are extremely responsive in familiar environments, but much less so in new ones.
Just like people, some dogs get extremely anxious and even sick in moving vehicles. If they have ever had a traumatic experience inside a car at some point, it’s almost guaranteed that they still remember the experience.
Open air markets are a smorgasbord of sights, sounds, smells and tastes – for you and your dog. Many times there will be other dogs present and you must keep in mind that they are all in a heightened state of stimulation.
Not just places/ but things can be a trigger
- Nail clippers
- Lawn mowers
- People in uniforms
Just like children, dogs display stress when encountering a new situations. They need time to be properly introduced to new people, pets, and objects so that they can develop a healthy sense of trust and develop appropriate boundaries. When a dog is not properly socialized or introduced to these new arenas with care – they simply follow whatever their natural instincts tell them to do.
Positive Reinforcement is Key!
Forget the crates, electric collars, locking them in the laundry room, hitting, or yelling. For training purposes, positive reinforcement will be your greatest ally. Remember, how YOU respond will directly influence your dog’s behavior in the future.
3 Most Important Training Perspectives
- Dogs need consistency.
- Dogs have direct association – associations automatically trigger a physiological response.
- Timing is paramount – a dog’s short term memory spans about 5 seconds. This means that as an owner you only have a short window of opportunity to make sure your training techniques are as effective as they can be.
At Pawderosa Ranch we are all about understanding dogs better every day. That’s why we’ve created an ideal dog daycare for pet owners across San Antonio. Our caregivers are all fully trained and certified to help make your dog’s stay one you and your dog will never forget. Contact us today!