We have compiled a list of 'Dog Owner Commandments' to help our clients have the most happy, well-adjusted, and behaved dogs around. Follow these guidelines, and you are sure to have a Dynamic Dog. We'll forgo the 'thou shalts,' and get straight to the point.
1. Never give a command you cannot or will not enforce. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
2. Freedoms should be earned and not gifted. Freedom to be off-leash, and freedom to be loose in the house are all contingent upon having solid obedience and reliability. If you have those goals for your dog, help them earn those freedoms through management and training.
3. You are always 'training your dog' whether you are making a conscious effort to do so or not. You are either training behaviors you like, or behaviors you don't like. Be sure to think about how your actions may be affecting your dog's behavior.
4. Your puppy is learning to be an adult dog. What ever they practice is what they will become. Keep this in mind when you are deciding the house rules.
5. Dogs needs physical and mental exercise. Make sure you're using a balanced approach for total wellness.
6. The pet industry sells products for money, not results. Gimmicks like calming aids, 'special' harnesses, leashes and collars, and various other products are no substitute for a good training plan. Some products may even exacerbate behavior problems instead of curing them.
7. All healthy relationships have love and respect in common. Your dog can adore you and not respect you. Harmonize your relationship by ensuring both parties are invested. Make sure you're giving your dog what they need, and not just what they want.
8. Your dog needs rules and routine, exercise, and affection, in that order.
9. Crate training is an essential protocol, even for dogs that will eventually have free roaming privileges. The last place your dog wants to learn about confinement is his first day of boarding in a new place, or worse yet, at the vet when she is sick or injured.
10. Spend time with your dog everyday; Quality, dedicated, invested time. Your dog needs 20 minutes (minimum) of your undivided attention, daily. Choose one activity to do with your dog (play frisbee, run, walk, hike, swim, agility, nosework, teaching tricks, obedience training etc) every day. If you lose a thing, you can replace it. If you lose money, you can make more. Time you can never get back. It is the only true commodity. Never waste a moment with your dog.