Raising a balanced dog!
Dog Balance, what is it and how to achieve it? A summary of the factors: Exercise, Affection and Discipline that will allow you to raise a balanced dog.
What is a balanced dog?
A balanced dog is a dog which is in a particular state of mind and body that makes him feel calm, satisfied, happy and as a result well behaved.
How to allow your dog to achieve balance?
Balancing your dog boils down to three main factors: Exercise, Affection and Discipline! A balance of these factors must be satisfied in order to have a balanced dog.
Adequate exercise is the foundation, it all starts from there. I have personally witnessed many examples of dogs that were uncontrollable only because of a severe lack of exercise. Once these dogs were exercised properly and given the opportunity to vent their energy, they all became calm dogs which were much easier to handle and train. Properly exercising a dog means giving the dog the amount of exercise required based on the breed, age and physical limitations. You would not give the same level of exercise to a Weimaraner and a Pug, a puppy and an adult, a healthy dog and one with physical limitations!!
There is no standard exercise formula that applies for every dog! You must measure your dog’s own exercise requirements to help achieve a balanced dog.
Related: The Dog Walk, a Dog’s Perspective
Related: Dog Socialisation
Dogs need affection but to the right amount. Fussing over your dog too much will only turn him into a spoilt and unsecure dog. For example I have observed households in which the dog would obey more the husband rather than the wife. After assessing how each treats the dog, in many cases the trend was that the wife would fuss over the dog too much while the husband would be stricter. To the dog, this translates as the husband being the pack leader, him in second place and then the wife. In reality the dog should understand that he comes last in any order there may be. Dogs need to receive affection but at the same time still feel that it is something that you give and it is not something to take for granted.
Too much affection can also result in separation anxiety especially in certain breeds prone to develop this behavioural trait. Adequate affection is key to have a balanced dog.
Discipline does not mean beating or violence in any way shape or form. It means setting up boundaries and limits for the dog. Dogs need a structure and there are things that they can do and others that they simply cannot!! A typical example of an undisciplined dog is a dog pestering the owner at the dining table. For example a properly disciplined dog will only come close to the table if called, he will come calmly and just sit next to you to be given a treat and go back to his place when told to. Some may argue that this is a sort of military approach and it is too much for the dog. In reality the scenario at the dining table should be taken as an example of the general obedience of the dog in various other places.
Discipline allows a dog to enjoy life more because it makes it easier for the owner to take him to more public places and be together instead of home alone!
A balanced dog is the result of adequate exercise, affection & discipline. The above text is only an introduction to the idea. There are other factors such as mental stimulation, breed specific satisfaction and nutrition that one would need to consider simultaneously with the above mentioned points.
For those who cannot manage!!
If you are struggling to bring your dog to a balanced state, we are here to help you. Just get in touch and explain your situation. We will be more than happy to give our view of things in an attempt to help you raise a balanced dog.