What Dogs Like

The pet industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds. In fact, in 2018 the total spent in the United States alone was over 72 billion dollars. People do not consider their dogs to be dogs, but fur babies instead. There are big box stores for every product known to man, and pet stores are included. There are aisles and aisles of toys, food, collars, treats – some better than others. You can even have a box of treats and toys delivered monthly to your fur baby (Bark Box).

I will admit my dogs have a toy box, however, I can’t remember the last time they got a new toy. I have Nylabones (4), balls, and a couple of stuffed animals that had the squeakers ripped out of them months ago. The funny thing is, we will hear the dogs rummage through their toy box until they find the specific toy they were looking for. Dogs are entertaining!

Recently, I saw on Facebook that a local pet store was advertising cutesy backpacks for dogs. I once was at a dog conference and there was a groomer pushing her purple hair colored Maltese around in a baby carriage. Now, come on! That’s a bit much, and most of the people who were professional dog trainers were not impressed. Here is the deal – it is best practice not to spoil dogs. Dogs do best if they are treated like dogs.

I have seen a lot of small dogs come into our facility for aggression issues. They are carried in and many times, even if they are friendly and just bringing the dog in for boarding, they want to hand us their dog. NO! Put the dog on the floor, it can walk. One of the things we tell people that ask for our help with their aggressive dogs is, are you willing make to changes at home? If they are not, don’t waste our time.

With aggression cases we instruct;

  • No more sleeping in bed with you
  • No more getting on the furniture
  • No more sitting in your lap
  • No more carrying the dog

There’s a new sheriff in town (new rules)

  • Dog has to work for everything they get
  • You out the door first and the dog follows
  • Walk on a loose leash (no more pulling)
  • Sit, down, and place/stay

I believe spoiling the dog can lead to issues like separation anxiety, aggression, and nervousness.  The best thing you can do for your dog is to teach rules, love, and give them plenty of exercise.

As I write this I have two dogs laying 5 feet from me. I’m the man. I am the parent that loves, teaches and expects them to have manners and to behave. I get compliments on my children and my dogs. I often hear, “your dogs are so well behaved.”

I never had a leash on my dogs because I don’t need one. Many of our clients are the same way.   They show up for a group class and ask to borrow a leash because they didn’t bring one. When I am out for dinner with the family, I am proud of my children when the waitress states, “Your boys have good manners.” Whether we are talking about raising children or dogs, the same thing applies. Love them, teach them how to behave, and provide sufficient exercise.

My boys love their electronics but we require that they go outdoors and play as well. They got a trampoline for Christmas and they love it! If you don’t have boys, believe me, sports and exercise are very important. They burn energy.

The same with dogs. A tired dog is a happy dog. Take your dog hiking, swimming, kayaking, and play fetch.

If you need help with control, and control is extremely important, please give us a call at our West Michigan dog training facility and the staff at Adams K-9 will give teach your dog off-leash reliability before you know it.

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Legislating the Tools

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I would like a quarter every time someone came in my training facility dragged by their dog in a harness or gentle leader. If they work for your dog, then great! However, we see a fair amount of people asking for help because their dog still leash pulls or is reactive on lead.

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