We’ve all seen it. The dog that never strays from his owner’s side. The pup that remains calm when in a crowd at the park. The active, 14-year-old pooch that is more physically fit than most puppies a third of his age. But you, too, can have a perfectly-behaved companion in picture-perfect health that’ll be the envy of the neighborhood. It all starts with these simple tips.
1. CRATE TRAIN
Dog crates are essential training tools. They help housetrain and control destructive behavior. More importantly, crates can actually help calm your pup. Dogs are instinctive den animals and crates give them a quiet, private place of their own. This is vital to help contain your dog during emergencies or when guests visit your home. Plus, since most are portable, they also offer a familiar location to help reduce anxiety during vehicle travel or stays in hotel rooms.
2. EXERCISE DAILY
Exercise is critical to your pet’s physical health. Additionally, the sights and sounds of the outdoors stimulate your dog’s mind and keep it active, alert, and off of undesirable behavior. Best of all, exercise also helps release energy and may make the difference between a mellow or hyperactive pup. Walks or trips to the dog park are also a great way to work on obedience commands and help socialize your dog while people, animals, and other distractions are present.
3. SOCIALIZE OFTEN
Unfamiliar situations can excite even the best behaved dog. Different sights, sounds, places, or activities they’ve never seen before will obviously pique their curiosity and open the door for undesirable behavior. Therefore, it is important to gradually, yet safely, expose your dog to as many different people, situations, and events as possible.
4. OBEDIENCE TRAIN
Well-trained dogs respond to both verbal and visual commands no matter the situation. But training your dog yourself takes a lot of patience and consistency. Plus, there is a right and a wrong way to train. Many communities offer dog handling or obedience courses. Otherwise, seek the help of a certified dog trainer. He or she ties together all the components of a well-behaved pup – from basic commands to socialization – and helps keep you and your family consistent while training.
5. YEARLY VETERINARIAN EXAMS
Schedule a general veterinarian exam every year. As with most illnesses or injuries, prevention is always the best medicine and your veterinarian can ensure your pooch is in the best health possible. After all, your dog’s health is the key to his happiness and his happiness is the key to having the best behavior possible.