12 canine commandments

-Dog training and behaviour is very crucial. All that’s needed from our side is a logical mind and being conscious of how we reward or reprimand a particular behaviour.
-Depending upon the consequences, a behaviour increases or decreases. If rewarded, it’s likely to increase, and if ignored, it’s likely to decrease. Did you know your dogs are constantly observing you? A well-socialised dog is one who knows how to read the body language of other dogs and people.

- Dogs learn from association. We should always call out our dog’s name to come to us for good things. Never punish/scold a dog on a recall, else they will think twice before coming to us.
-Choose training methods that do not involve any external tools. You require patience. Do not use prong collars/electric shock collars or choke chains.

-Give enough room to your dog to escape from any situation, if it’s stressing them. Dogs either fight or run away (fight or flight) when stressed. Make sure they always have a flight option available.

-Don’t miss out on your dog’s warning to back off. Never scold a dog for growling. When we do, we create dogs that learn to bite without a warning.

-Kids and dogs should always be introduced under parental guidance. Children have to be taught how to touch and play with dogs. Sometimes, mishandling on the part of the kid and lack of understanding of the body signals of dogs trying to back off can go unread by a child, resulting in a bite.

-Dogs, just like humans, also learn through experiences and exposures in life, so make sure you give them safe exposures. Train your dogs early on in their lives. Don’t wait for bad behaviour to form.

-Let’s learn what they are trying to express and teach them some of our language. Dogs can learn close to 300 words – all we humans have to do is understand their body language and learn to read 30-odd calming signals in them.

-Dogs love routine. Don’t change their walking and feeding times as per your convenience or else you will end up with boredom or excess energy – both major contributors to behaviour problems.

-Give your dogs a reason to crave your company. By engaging with them in activities, our level of bonding improves. A beautifully bonded human-dog relationship takes time and effort from our side.

-Brush your dog’s coat minimum once daily. Introduce them to getting groomed and touched. Dogs who are comfortable with human touch are more confident around doctors and groomers, who constantly handle them.

A dog’s love is EUPHORIC, please be the person they think you are.
(Priti Chauhan is dog behaviourist and trainer)


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