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Understanding your dog and your family dynamics.

We were at a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence client in Southwest Ranches delivering some new training collars the other day.  They had their older dogs containment trained by Dog Guard years ago and now had a new dog.  As we delivered the new collar and began a refresher course on working with the new dog, they had an interesting question.  “My brother and I both bought puppies from a breeder in Naples at the same time.  We got them because they seemed to be just alike and have the same personalities.  Now, my brother’s 1 year old Terrier is as calm as calm can be.  Our dog, his brother, is just a complete crazy nut.  What happened?

 

Electric Dog Fence and Happy Family in Southwest Ranches Florida

 

If you took the time to think about this for a minute or two, the answer would be pretty obvious.  The answer deals with the environment and how we (humans and dogs) adopt and conform to that environment.  Spoiler alert:  Two families, two environments…

If you are part of a family is made up of older adults and are relatively structured and calm,l your dog will probably be on the calm side and probably more sedate.  If you are part of a younger family with active kids and have a very interactive lifestyle with friends over all the time, you will probably have a more active, engaged, and (sometimes) annoying dog.

Remember the old saying, “You are what you eat”?  Your dog’s personality, just like your kids’, will often reflect your environment and level of activity.  Most families have no problem if they have a well behaved and sedate dog, so let me focus on the super-active, sometimes annoying dog.  Let me give you some proactive things you can do to counteract your naturally active and engaging lifestyle:

  • Don’t play rough with your dog in the house.  What will happen is that he will get used to barking, jumping, and chasing you.  Dogs doesn’t understand that there is a time and place for everything.  If you play crazy with him in the house when you are alone, your dog will want to play crazy in the house when you have guests over or are having a dinner party.
  • Find at least twenty minutes daily to to be active and play with your dog at a park or in your back yard.  Play catch, throw the Frisbee, play “find the toy” or anything else that engages both of you and drains his adrenaline.
  • Have your children pet your dog calmly by stroking him from the back of his head to the middle of his neck.  This emulates grooming and is very soothing and calming to your dog.  It also “teaches your kids” how to interact with your dog without making him crazy.
  • When you have guests or family over, make sure that they don’t greet or focus on your dog for the first few minutes of their visit.  You want your dog to understand that they aren’t “new play toys” that now belong to him.  When they don’t pay immediate attention to him, your dog will refocus on something else and be in a more calm and sedate state.  After a few minutes, if they want, your guests can then call your dog to them and interact with him on their terms.  This allows you and your guests to maintain control of the situation and not your dog.
  • What we are trying to accomplish through all these actions is to manage your dog’s adrenaline through your example.  If you are calm with your dog, you will not encourage a spike in his adrenaline that leads to the annoying crazy stuff.

If you have more questions, we would be more than happy to provide additional information.  You can contact us at The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Dog Trainers in Southwest Ranches and South Florida.