It’s not uncommon to think that a dog has a label. They are either “good” or “bad.” When you think of a “good” dog, it’s one that is nice, behaves, and not aggressive. Where a “bad” dog is one that’s mean, doesn’t listen, and is aggressive.
People tend to overlook that they are responsible for their dogs behavior. If a dog is “bad”, it’s because the owner is bad. Same goes for a “good” dog.
What Makes You A Good Dog Owner?
To have a “good” dog, you must be a good owner. This means you have some responsibility when it comes to your dog. Below are the five characteristics that make a good owner and a good dog.
- Well exercised/healthy
- Good training and behavior
- Strong trust/bond
- Lifelong process
Without these, you set an unstable environment for your dog, yourself, and those around you. Like a child, setting a good and positive example works the same way for your dog.
Well Exercised/Healthy Dog
Like people, dogs have pent up energy. When they aren’t able to release it, they can become destructive and difficult to listen to you. This can turn everything into a big deal. Imagine a dog who has pent up energy greeting someone at the door. They will bounce around, bark a lot, won’t listen to commands, and even bite you if over stimulated.
By maintaining a balanced diet and exercise routine, you get rid of pent up energy. This helps insure their health is great too. Exercise will relax your dog and put them in a more stable mental state. They’ll be receptive to listening to you and those without distraction.
It’s recommended to exercise your dog twice a day. A great way to do this is once in the morning and once in the evening. Not only does this promote a healthy lifestyle for your dog, but you as well.
Good training and behavior
Training your dog is a very rewarding aspect of being a dog owner. It helps start to build a bond between you and your dog. Training also teaches them manners and how to behave. They will know what they should do and not do. Working with your dog and training them basic commands helps the bonding process. A stronger bond means stronger attention and focus.
Dogs, by nature, seek out our attention. They are strive to please people and want you to be happy. This makes it easy to motivate and reward them for proper behavior. Always use positive reinforcement when training. Never be aggressive, physical, or mean to your dog. No one gets things right the first time, why should we expect our dog to.
A great example of a dog having good manners is not jumping on you or your guest when they enter your house. As long as you take the time to instill these manners, you won’t feel embarrassed when you have company over. When your dog has good manners you will be proud of how well your dog minds you. You’ll also be able to have more control when things come up.
Taking the time to introduce your dog to other people, as well as other dogs, helps socialize them. They will understand how to approach a dog or a human. This makes things easier for you when going out or to the dog park. When dogs aren’t socialized, they usually exhibit signs of fear or even aggression.
If you’re not careful, you can instill this behavior in your dog. An example is your dog sees another dog and you grab it’s collar and pull it away. You may be doing this out of fear of your dog hurting/being hurt by the other dog. But you’re teaching them to be fearful of other dogs instead.
Start taking your dog to the dog park or going out and exercising them. This will start to build up their confidence and socializing skills. Then the next time your dog runs off, it’ll know how to introduce itself.
Dogs are little furry kids running around doing whatever they want. They will bark, scratch, growl, chew, pee, and more. They don’t know anything better, unless you teach them. Unless you want a hellion running around, you will invest the time.
Dogs need patience and commitment. They aren’t born with the knowledge of our language. You need to teach them the meaning behind your words. Your patience helps determine how well they learn the command. Without patience, it can seem like a chore and cause lots of frustration.
Patience is very important and critical for training. Your dog will learn the command or behavior you’re teaching them. As frustrating as it can be, time always prevails. Be persistent, don’t lose sight of the goal, and keep moving forward.
Strong Bond With Your Dog
By having a strong bond with your dog, they will be more mindful and loving towards you. They will seek out your affection and presence. It’ll also boost your own morale and health by having one. Bonding with your dog is like having a relationship with a family member. You have to nurture it, defend it, and love it.
An example of having a strong bond with your dog is how comfortable they are around you. Do they trust you when pick them up? Do they seek out your affection? Are they excited to see you when you come home? Do they bring you toys because they want to play? These scenarios show a strong connection with your dog.
Another great benefit of having a strong bond is how well they will listen to you or receive your commands. Police officers and their dogs have very strong bonds. They are reward driven and want to please the officer. They will do whatever you ask of them without hesitation. In their field, this is important as one mistake can be fatal.
Life Long Commitment To Your Dog
Getting a dog is like having a child. They are a massive responsibility and undertaking. It is something that you start and don’t let go. They need our care, love, and attention both physically and mentally. Dogs have many benefits for our health. They can help us overcome a lot of fears we have. Some of these can induce anxiety, such as meeting new people.
Dogs are also great for our health and mental state. Here are a some of the benefits of having a dog.
- Combat allergies
- Boost your immune system
- Cure anxiety and depression
- Keep you from being lonely
- Exercise and be healthy
- Become more social
Seek out Professional Help
At the end of the day, you may still need advice on raising and training a dog. By consulting or working with a dog trainer, you can learn the right mindset to have. They can share tips and tricks that you might not think about.
Some dog trainers can also give advice with diet and exercise. Be aware, some of the problems you can run into dog trainers are the following.
- Choose to use punishment over positivity in training
- Their schedules aren’t as flexible as they said they were
- The initial cost was affordable, but on going training is expensive
- Aren’t able to reach them when you need them most
It’s helpful to have access to knowledge at your fingertips rather than waiting. A great example of an online dog training program is Brain Training for Dogs. It’s created by CPDT-KA certified dog trainer Adrienne Farricelli. The online site contains training manuals, videos, and more on how to train your dog using games.
The online training sessions can help you overcome issues with your dog. No need to wait on your dog trainer to get started. If you have problems with your dog jumping on people, whining at the door, constant barking, and more. There are training sessions for almost every scenario.
At the end of the day never give up on your dog. They will never give up on you. Give lots of exercise and feed them a healthy diet. Be patient with them and both of you will grow on each other. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, why should your relationship with your dog?