Raising a truly happy dog is something every great dog-parent wants. However, you can’t expect to just treat your dog like the boss of the house and have them be happy. You might think treating your dog like royalty is the way to make them happy, but this is not the case. Let’s take a look at how you really raise a happy dog:
1. Train Them From A Young Age
The first thing you need to commit to do is train your dog from a young age. It’s never too early to start training them. If you want the very best results, look for a reputable puppy school. This should take a weight off your shoulders, although you will need to continue the training at home. It is still your responsibility to enforce the behaviour and ensure your dog knows how to behave. Remember, training your dog is not about scaring them. Scaring them is not the same as training them.
2. Make Sure They Know That You Are The Boss
When your dog knows you are the boss, they will listen to you. If you send them mixed signals, like so many other dog owners do, they will get confused. When your dog is confused, they pick and choose when to listen to you, and can get terrible separation anxiety when you leave them even for a short time. This is because you’re not supposed to leave the pack leader, and your dog could easily be under the impression that you are the pack leader! You don’t let your dog know you are the boss with scare tactics and violence. You are authoritative, firm, but calm. You can still fuss and love your dog, but you should always keep training tactics in mind.
3. Provide Enrichment Throughout Their Lives
Ensure you provide enrichment throughout your dog’s life. Put yourself in their position – how would you feel if you were chained up outside all of the time, or spent all of your time in the same four walls? Take them on different walks, switch their training up, and go on adventures with them. Buy them different toys, and different healthy snacks. Try to enrich their lives in any way you can. They are not here for long, so make the most of them!
4. Socialize Them
Dogs love to socialize – you just need to make sure you do it the right way. Introducing dogs should be done carefully so they can get to know one another without feeling threatened.
5. Never Leave Them On Their Own For Too Long
You should be able to leave your dog on their own for a short while, but too long and they could misbehave, or get depressed. Make sure you have a dog sitter or somebody to check in on your dog if you’re going to work and leave them at home, for example.
6. Make Sure Your Dog Suits Your Lifestyle
Before you even get a dog, you need to make sure the breed suits your lifestyle. If you’re not very active, don’t buy a dog that needs lots of exercise! It’s not fair on them.
7. Nourish Your Dog
Food is vital for your dog to thrive and be happy. Good nutrition will ensure that your dog is fueled for all the fun, socialization, exercise, and enrichment that you can offer them. Make sure you do some research on what kind of food is best for your dog and the lifestyle that you provide it with. Food will also depend on its breed, its weight, and many other factors. There are some known foods that you can consider, for example, lamb is incredible for dogs. As long as the food is appropriate for your dog and supports their body, well-being and mental health, you will have a thriving and happy dog on your hands.