Happy dogs are made by their owners actions
My dog while not exemplary in behaviour is mostly a product of MY lack of discipline and its own natural tendencies to wander. People don’t understand that as the pack leader they themselves have a responsibility to daily take their dogs on daily life affirming excursions.
What I also have experienced with my new friend is the bond I witness in many other diligent owners who either regularly take their dog to off lead dog parks or when they go out to cafes.
As a professional dog walker and having walked many types of dogs, I have become aware of a very interesting social dynamic. While dogs are said to be ‘man’s best friend’, there is a much higher proportion of women who call me for dog walking services and for supplying healthy dog treats. As I regularly go to dog parks, I have to admit that I also see many more woman walking dogs than men, before and after standard working hours. What has become of the man and dog connection? Shame Australian men, shame!
It would appear that the majority of people do not walk their dogs twice or even once a day, and largely feed them a grain based (highly inappropriate) diet to their faithful companions. It would also appear that many women also make the positive decision in a family or couple situation, to bring extra help in exercising and socialising dogs. They sense the need to make their dog happy more than many men. People often laugh at the need for such dog walking services, yet few people take their dogs for sufficient minimum levels or exercise per day. But I digress .. there are many great owners out there too.
There are very few other animals or people that will great you with such genuine appreciation as a socialized dog. In fact without the pact structure inherited from the wolf, dogs would ignore us as much as cats tend to do. It is this symbiotic relationship that unfortunately many people take for granted, this unflappable willingness to please the master and alpha dog that mystifies me. It is also upsetting when I continue to see so many dogs locked up in yards for the eternity of their life while their owners do ‘better things.’
While many people intellectually get that dogs are ‘not just for Christmas’, they see one or two walks per week as if they are giving their dog a big treat, not as a birth right. For a dog even gaining just one hour out per day is basically the equivalent of when a human prisoner gets an hour per day in the exercise yard. But with dogs living in the moment, every minute that they are awake and not running with the pack, is a wasted existence. They don’t plan for future holidays or know that they are only going to live 15 years at best. Consider that one day that a dog inst walked, would be like one week for a human trapped in their house. Not very pleasant hey?
Having a dog is a major responsibility that unfortunately is not very well understood or policed. It is only dangerous attack dogs that bite children that seem to get in the paper lately, not well meaning people who daily neglect their dogs. However for every dog I see in a dog park, I know there are literally hundreds of dogs not getting a walk at all, or if lucky a short walk around the block. Be careful of dog minding businesses that group dogs together in small ‘play yards’ near the road purely as a PR exercise, or walk dogs up and down the street (a few hundred metres) again for the passerby’s attention rather than the benefit of the dog. This exercise is severely inadequate.
For all of the bad things I have caused in my dog (poor training, not enough discipline), I also take credit for how social he is. He used to run hundreds of metres to met every new dog and person in the park. Now he uses his judgement better to understand which ones he wants to play with. Many people say that their dogs are not very social. That’s what happens when you don’t socialise them and they learn to understand what is acceptable dog behaviour.
Just like repeated walks are required, sometimes repetition in explaining dogs real needs is necessary – in this short essay.
The future of dogs in Australia
Like many people dedicated to their dog, I take a large amount of my time working out ways to make their life better. At the core of this is providing the most natural environment and food that I can provide them. We force our dog companions to live an exceptionally foreign life to fit into our human houses and to fit around our busy schedules. Humans have even changed dogs from nocturnal animals to mostly being awake during the day. Dogs live in our small yards, with our human possession and rules and ask very little from us. They are loyal and full of life and when healthy get to brighten our lives considerably.
In Australia dog ownership has been on the decline for the last ten years, and there are very few off lead dog areas in most suburbs. It sometimes seems that in our quest to be modern that many of us, including councils, have forgotten the massive benefits that dogs bring to owners and communities. Dogs teach both children and adults responsibly and empathy. In as little as 15,000 years we have forced the creation of the dog from the wolf and now in many cases it seems we are abandoning what we began.
For people too busy to take their dogs on two walks per day. The bare minimum secret to making them happy is to walk them at least once – preferably in the morning, off lead for a minimum of 45 minutes. Feed them a raw diet including meat, bones and offal, with sufficient variety and in the right proportions. Whether or not you end up feeding your dog a full raw diet, you can very easily supplement their diet with healthy meat dog treats directly from this site.
Here’s to making your dog the happiest that it and you can be.
Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please refer to the article as a reference and provide a link to http://www.healthydogtreats.com.au
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