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Dogs Exploring Their Instincts

It’s A Dog’s Life

There is a phrase used by people who have little in their lives but their work and commitments at home, with little scope for fun. “It’s a dog’s life”, people will sometimes mutter when the stream of demands on their time simply will not stop. They mean that it is tiring, unrewarding and punishing. And yet, if you look at the average dog, their life seems pretty sweet in comparison. Think about this; would you swap places with your dog? Most of us would probably say “yes”.

However there is, it must be said, something in that well-worn phrase which chimes with the dog-owners among us. A dog, after all, is rarely given the freedom to do absolutely what it wants. If a human being had to lead a dog’s life, the chances are that we wouldn’t do all that well at it. As humans, we can go and get a snack when we feel like it, our toilet is convenient and hygienic, and we can ask for things and be instantly understood. For a dog, things are generally at the mercy of their owners.

When you are helping your dog find balance, then, it is wise to cut it some slack. As far as it is concerned, you are exhibiting some very strange behavior that it will not understand initially, and if it is slow to respond then this can be understood. It is not a stupid dog for getting things wrong. In fact, by paying attention to you it is being very obedient.

Call Nature Aligned Canine today for professional dog behavioral assistance. 214-434-4408

You Don’t “Have To Be Cruel To Be Kind”

There is a very commonly used phrase that most of us have heard and many have used, which goes as follows: “You have to be cruel to be kind”. Others among us will look at that phrase, or hear it said, and point out the inherent flaw in it. You do not have to be cruel to be kind. You have to be cruel to be cruel, and kind to be kind. In actual fact, cruelty and kindness are very rarely mutually applicable. Getting that straight will sort out a lot of problems, in life and when helping your dog find balance.

Now, certainly, there are times when you will need to be stern with your dog. Sometimes it will exhibit behaviors that you would really rather it did not. Some owners will tend towards the cruel side of things when punishing these behaviors, often punishing their dog with a physical blow. It should be recognized that punishing a dog consistently with physical reprimands will lead simply to either a hostile dog who will lash out without warning, or a lifeless dog which is scared to do anything for fear of reprisal.

There will be times when you need to reprimand your dog physically. A quick tap can often suffice when it is behaving in a threatening manner without good reason. Restraining it by the collar when it goes to attack a person or another animal is fine. But by beating your dog, all you are doing is removing the essential element of all pet-owner relationships – friendship.

Call Nature Aligned Canine today for professional dog behavioral assistance. 214-434-4408

The Benefits Of Doing It Yourself

There are people, many of them, who make a living addressing behavioral problems with dogs. They will take your dog for a period of time each week and teach it commands, behaviors and tricks that will make you clasp your hands in joy, and yet the thing about this is that most people don’t want to do things that way. As much fun as it may be to inherit a dog who will behave like you’d always dreamed a dog could behave, it takes away something that should be there between humans and dogs – the connection that makes humans and dogs such great partners in crime (metaphorically).

It takes longer to help a dog find balance if you have no experience of doing it, and this is why many people are prepared to part with hard-earned cash to allow a professional to work with their pet. For some of us, this kind of expense is prohibitive, and for others it may be more than affordable but a needless waste. We want to work with our dogs, ourselves, because they are ours. Where is the fun in leaving it to someone else?

There is also the fact that in helping your dog, you build a bond with it. Many dogs will react strongly to their masters’ voice, while not paying heed to the same commands from others. Although a professional will take every care to ensure that your dog learns the command and not the voice, there is undeniably something important about being the one from whom your dog learns to sit, stay and roll over. It is the all-important connection.

Call Nature Aligned Canine today for professional dog behavioral assistance. 214-434-4408

The Instinct Of A Dog – And How To Find Balance

Dogs are, in many ways, essentially simple animals. The typical pet dog will be free with its friendship if it is encouraged to do so. If it is left to its own devices and treated like a machine for entertainment, it will not be so keen to play favorites. Dogs respond to their pleasure stimulus more than anything, and it is by using this that you can move toward having a happy and balanced dog while having a lot of fun yourself in the process. Go to a dog-friendly park anywhere in the country and you will see dogs responding to their pleasure instinct, and making their owners happy because of it.

One of the most simple commands, and a game that any dog will love to play, is “Fetch”. If you take your dog to a park where it can be let off its leash, take a ball with you and see the sheer joy that it gets when you sling the ball as far as you can and yell “fetch!”. It pins its ears back, and sets off in full flow, chasing down that ball, picking it up and bringing it back for another round. It does not question why you keep throwing the ball, but keeps bringing it back for another go – often waiting at your feet until you do.

This has a lot of applications in working with a dog. It will be ready to learn from you if you are willing to give it the time and attention it wants. It will also learn to respond to commands – although full marks go to you if you throw the ball, say “stay” and it does so. This can be considered something of a miracle.

Call Nature Aligned Canine today for professional dog behavioral assistance. 214-434-4408

Teaching Any Dog New Tricks

There are two distinct types of dog behavior professions. These are behavioral work, where you teach a dog to behave in the “right” way, and recreational work, where you teach a dog to perform certain actions which will impress or amuse other people and yourself. There are some who feel that this latter is not a reasonable way to do things – making a dog into a circus-style performer for your own pleasure – but as long as it is done in an affectionate way it can be good for you and for the dog.

Dogs are, generally, playful pets who will provide any owner with hours of fun simply by their presence and their general actions. The vitality of a well-fed, well-treated dog is a reflection on its owner. You can tell a happy dog from the way it carries itself around people, and most particularly its owner. A happy dog will be more likely to perform tricks. The most common of these tricks are ones like “playing dead”, “begging” and “shaking hands”.

To show a dog a new trick will often take time. It may be that you need to physically manipulate the dog by placing it in the position that the trick demands, and repeating a command. Sooner or later the dog will learn the link between command and action and, when it does, you should reward it with a treat. Before too long it will recognize the command and the action, and make the link to its reward. Then you will have taught your dog a new trick.

Call Nature Aligned Canine today for professional dog behavioral assistance. 214-434-4408

How To Eliminate Bad Behavior In Your Dog

Dogs are like any other animal – including the human being – in that they will sometimes step over the line of bad behavior in the pursuit of enjoyment or comfort. If you are honest with yourself you must admit that there have been times when you did something wrong because the results of such action had benefits for you. Whether those benefits were active – you took something that was not yours and enjoyed using it – or passive, in that you did not do something because the alternative was preferable to you, you still transgressed.

Dogs are just the same. If a dog has gone to the toilet in the house, for example, it will have done so because it was easier than going outside. There may be many reasons why this was the case, but all the dog knows is that its action was what seemed like the right thing for it. This is not a mode of behavior you would wish to encourage, so you need to consider how to eliminate it in future. The best way of doing this may be to scold the dog sternly, or deprive it of its favorite toy – the important thing is to establish a link between action and outcome.

If a dog goes to the toilet in the house, there is little point in going to find the dog and handing out punishment there and then. The dog will not connect the punishment with the action. You need to establish this firm link by taking the dog to the scene of the action, and making clear your displeasure. Only then will the dog link cause and effect.

Call Nature Aligned Canine today for professional dog behavioral assistance. 214-434-4408

Rewarding Your Dog Is Important

Part of working with dogs (an important part) is knowing when and how to reward your dog. The concept of positive reinforcement is an important element in working with any animal, and dogs have a mentality which responds well to this type of action. While a human may look for ulterior motives in any reward system – and openly rebel against such actions – a dog will simply see that there is a connection between “good” behavior and good results. This is why positive reinforcement is a necessary part of teaching any dog.

It works as follows: You want your dog to learn how to respond to a certain command. By repeating that command until the dog carries out the action, you create a link in your dog’s brain between the command and the action. When the dog responds to the command by performing the action, you then reward it by giving it a treat. The link is then strengthened in the dog’s brain. Command + Action = Treat. The dog will become willing to respond to your command, knowing that the results will be in its favor.

It can take time to make this message stick. Some dogs are less amenable to domestication than others – just as all humans are different, so are all dogs. But just as all humans have instinctive ways of responding to stimuli, so do all dogs. It is essential that you give your dog time to work out the right way to react to you when working with him or her. The benefits will quickly become evident.

Call Nature Aligned Canine today for professional dog behavioral assistance. 214-434-4408