Life often a throws you a curve ball (or a bull terrier), however, by equipping yourself with the fundamental knowledge; you can get your life back on track!
What you need to know:
Socialise your dog
This is crucial, a socially awkward dog is an unpredictable dog! No need to spend all your money on expensive puppy training classes; take your puppy to the local park (there’s always a four-legged friend in search of companionship). Just like a child, a puppy’s mind is like a sponge; allow other older dogs to show what is acceptable “doggy behaviour” (these social norms will be much easier understood from another dog). Take your dog often; it pays off!!! The relationship can be mutually beneficial; your dog will be a social butterfly and you will have the opportunity to meet new people and take a break from being a couch potato.
Train the Brain
Many people get home to find their dog ripping up the garden or their expensive furniture. The first thought that crosses your mind might be: “naughty savage”, but in actual fact your dog is screaming “I’m bored!” One must remember, all dogs were bred for a purpose, they too had a job. By expecting your dog to sit around at home, you’re asking for trouble. One might argue “but I threw the ball for him for an hour”, but this is not the type of exercise that will suffice; you need to challenge their minds. So setup a small agility course (bricks and planks will do) or take them on a substantial walk in order for them to use their sense of smell and attend to their urge to migrate.
One of the ways to ensure that your dog knows that you are leader of the pack, is by keeping a consistent routine – if your life is not in order, your dog is definitely going to notice. This means being consistent with feeding times, rules (don’t chop and change what he is allowed to do, vice versa). Keep positively reinforcing good behaviour. If your dog stays indoors; get him in routine as to when he is allowed to go outside to do his business.
Above all, enjoy the precious moments together and the love your dog selfishly give to you everyday, which is much more satisfying than what money can buy and the beauty about owning a dog is that they will never judge you based on what you have in your wallet. Even a simple plait made from strips of old t-shirts will make your best friends day feel like Christmas.
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(price as of Nov 18, 2014)