Below are five simple tips that owners can use to promote positive engagement and help keep their dog mentally stimulated.
Daytime Rest Tip
Although younger and older dogs require more rest to aid development or recovery, the average adult dog is very adept at adapting to its owners nightly sleep pattern and too much daily rest can lead to behavioural problems. It is a good idea to ensure that a dog doesn't experience long periods of mental disengagement and inactivity.
Dogs rest more naturally after physical engagement and proper rest is always more conducive to a dogs mental health than ‘boredom’ rest.
Leave Stress At The Door
Dogs pick up on stress very easily. Add this to the fact that when you enter a room, maybe after a day at work, your dog will be pleased to see you and will be especially receptive to the mood that you bring.
If an owner repeatedly comes home stressed and un-receptive to a dog’s advances this can easily lead to the dog being nervous and anxious about its owner’s homecoming. Although changing the events that lead to an owner having had a stressful day may be difficult, it is always good advice to take a breath and positively receive our four-legged friends friendly welcome.
It's Good To Talk
Human relationships suffer when communication breaks down between people. Dogs also need regular and positive communication to keep them reassured and engaged in their relationship with their owner so take time to talk to your dog.
Look To Praise Your Dog
There is a lot of advice around praising a dog for positive behaviours that is often centred around training or when a dog has specifically performed a task that an owner approves of. Whilst this is an extremely positive and beneficial way to acknowledge a dog’s behaviour, it is often overlooked that long periods without finding a reason to praise a dog may lead to behavioural problems.
Dogs naturally seek out approval and it is good advice to actively look for situations for a dog to meet and receive this approval. A positive tone delivered directly after a positive action is always reassuring and motivating for a dog.
Become A Meet And Greet Facilitator
Most dogs are naturally friendly toward humans. Keeping a dog’s interactions with humans as positive as possible will ensure that the dog will feel good about both itself and its encounters..
Many of the so called dangerous breeds have their instinctive protective aggression negatively fed by being made to feel a threat around others and a regular schedule of positive and managed social engagement helps many dogs to subdue and manage their aggression and form a positive view of humans and other dogs.
John Deeprose is a former Dog Trainer, Animal Behaviourist and Pet Business Owner. John is an established authority in the canine world and has a large social media following of dog owners and dog-related businesses worldwide.