Sunday, December 21, 2014

Give Your Dog What They Need, Get What You Want

Everybody likes to have a dog that is quiet and calm in the house. Not everybody gets one.


Is it the dogs?

I can't speak for all dogs but we never have a problem with our dogs' behavior in the house. Sometimes they play a little bit, but mostly they just relax.

Is it the dogs?

They are good guys, yes. But they don't lay down and stay quiet in the house because we make them. They do it because they're content. They get the fun and exercise they need and in the meantime they just chill, waiting for more fun and exercise.

Cookie needs at least three hours of physical or mental stimulation daily.

How do I know that? Because when she does not get that, she starts being restless, demanding attention and trying to get into trouble.

Knowing that, I make sure she gets what she needs. In return I get what I want--a dog that is quiet and relaxed in the house.

JD would make due with about an hour but he doesn't mind getting the extra.

Before you get worked up over unruly dogs, ask yourself what they're missing.

Recently there was a post on the Dog Health Issues group asking for advice. Their dog used to spend his days in the yard. He was getting into trouble so they kept him in the house. The dog was getting into even more trouble so they ended up closing him in one of the rooms ... Where do you think this is going?

Doing that is like putting oil on a fire.

He wasn't getting what he needed. Taking away even the little he was getting isn't going to solve it. Since the person clearly wasn't able to exercise and stimulate him properly, my best suggestion was for her to get a dog walker or consider doggy day care.

Dogs get in trouble because something is missing in their lives.

Taking more away is not the answer. If your dog keeps getting into trouble, ask yourself what is missing and do your best to provide that. Everybody wins.

Related articles:
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Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Observation Skills Of Dogs  
If You Want Your Dog To Do Something, Teach It  
Tricks? It's Not Just About The Tricks 
What Constitutes The Perfect Dog?
Are Dog Training Classes Really For The Dogs?  
Look Where You Want To Go: Finding My Reactive Dog Training Zen Zone? 
Dog Training And Emotions 
Dog Training And Emotions: Postscript
Dogs Love Sentences In Question Form?
Not All Dog Trainers Were Created Equal Either 
A Thought On Separation Anxiety
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
About Freedom, Trust And Responsibility: A "Pilot Study"
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About Happiness: What Makes Your Dog Happy? 
Our Example Of The Use Of "Look At That" (LAT) 
Why Do Dogs Dig?
Who Is In The Wrong?
Your Dog Wants To Follow You. You Just Gotta Be Going Some Place
We Still Have Two Dogs: A "Pilot Study" Part Two  
Early Winter Safety: Exploring New Territories
Cookie Is Okay. We ... Might Be, Eventually. (Don't Try This At Home) 
One Thing I Love About Winter: I See What They "See" 

20 comments

  1. I do want my dogs to be relaxed in the house, but I also want them to be on high alert as watchdogs.

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    1. Our guys can be out like a light but when they hear a noise outside they're immediately on top of it :-)

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  2. Our dogs definitely need to be kept busy. I have a lot of interactive toys for them.

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    1. Interactive toys are great too. I find Cookie gets bored with them once it's not a challenge to figure out, though, which happens pretty fast.

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  3. Boredom is the top cause of behavior issues in pet dogs. Yep, like leaving a toddler with cans of spray paint and saying, "Now, don't touch anything!" LOL! Great post.

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    1. LOL Love the example :-) Tired dog is a good dog still works.

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  4. Great point. We just can't figure out why little Bailie insists on shredding beds and toys, though. She has plenty of chew items, exercise and mental stimulation. We are hoping she just grows out of it. The rest of us are always real mellow and just hang out.

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    1. Sometimes it's about the object itself. Maybe it feels like ripping up a prey.

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  5. Great post and so true. Jack needs about90 minutes of exercise a day and when he doesn't get it, I can absolutely see it in his behavior. Locking them into smaller and smaller spaces isn't the solution!

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    1. So many people seem to do that. Dog doesn't behave well, so they keep taking things away until the dog ends up in a cage or kill shelter.

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  6. Great post - so true, we dogs need our exercise!

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    1. Gotta have some fun. My granny always said, "Kids have to play." Furkids have to play too. Otherwise they get in trouble.

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  7. Great post! Most of the dogs that come to my training classes that are labeled as "bad" dogs are not bad at all, but usually just lacking the exercise and mental stimulation that they need. Many dog breeds need quite a bit more activity and exercise than most people realize.

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    1. I think most dogs need quite a bit more activity than people realize. I think there is some confusion between real animals and plush ones ;-)

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  8. This is a good point. Oftentimes, the same it true with cats. They engage in unwanted behaviors because they are missing something. It's important to make sure your pet is happy with his/her environment and daily activities.

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    1. Don't know much about cats but imagine that sitting on a window sill day in and day out isn't what they were meant for :-)

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  9. Great post! It is so true. I can't blame Rooney when I know that he has cabin fever and needs to burn off energy, so he is being more needy and restless.

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    1. There are great indoor games to play with dogs too but nothing beats a good romp outside.

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  10. I love it when our dogs are relaxed in the house, because we know they got the exercise they need during the day. When they're restless, rough housing, or being naughty, then we failed that day. :)

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    1. Yep, it's the perfect measure of our efforts :-)

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