There are two types of dog owners; passive and active.  The passive dog owner wants a happy go lucky dog that sleeps all day while they are away at work and greets them with a happy wag of their tail the owner returns home.  After 10 minutes of play their beloved dog is ready to spend the rest of the evening curled up next to the owner’s feet as they catch up on their favorite television show.  The passive dog owner wants to take their dog to the dog park where the dog can run and play with all the dogs while the owner sits on a bench gossiping or reading a book.   When the dream dog isn’t and the he/she breaks out of the kennel, tears up the house, using the house as a toilet, reality sets in.  There are no trips to the dog park because the dog is aggressive.  The passive dog owner attempts a walk a day, however it’s more like the dog walking the owner or dragging more like it.

The active dog owner has a routine for example, a walk every morning before work and every other day the dog goes to day care where he/she can either learn or burn off some pent up energy.  The active dog owner hikes, cross country skis, plays Frisbee, and takes trips with their dog.  They participate in agility, protection, or obedience class with their dog.  Obedience class is not only for those who need to learn obedience or have behavioral issues.  Obedience should be a fun challenging class for the handler and dog where they can socialize with other active dog owners.  The active dog owner makes sure there are plenty of outlets for their dog to burn off excessive energy.

From my experience, it’s the passive dog owners who have issues and call a professional for help.  Dogs need exercise and mental stimulation.  Letting them run on your 4 acres doesn’t cut it.  Whether you have a small yard or 10 acres, in the dog’s mind, it’s all kennel.   It’s a home with no challenges.  Your dog needs to get away from the home or kennel to experience life!  Stimulate your dog with new odors, sights and sounds.  How would you feel if you stayed at home 24/7 and never went anywhere?  Ever hear of the term Cabin Fever?  According to Wikipedia, “Cabin fever describes the extreme irritability and restlessness a person may feel after being cooped up in a small area for an extended period of time”.   How do you think a dog feels if they are forced to stay in the house and in your yard for an extended period of time;   same sights, sounds and odors?

Dogs are active and if you are not perhaps a cat would be a better fit for your personality.  I’ve seen a saying once, “If you dog is fat, you need more exercise”.  It holds some truth.  Don’t expect your dog to be a happy go lucky dog if his/her needs are not being met.  As Cesar Milan likes to say, “Exercise, Discipline, Affection” in that order.

Now it’s time to take action.  Enroll in a dog sport or obedience class.  Get out in nature and go for a walk with your dog.  Let you dog run free and have some fun.  If you are not able to have off leash reliability, give us a call and set up a demo.  We will have you on your way to off leash reliability in no time.

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