Do you have a Houdini that climbs over seven foot fences or a dog that never listens to you on walks? Maybe a dog that breaks into bedrooms and destroys pillows while your back is turned?
We all see behaviours in our dogs that we would like to change, they all push boundaries, physical or behavioural, and often we concentrate on simply preventing it. However sometimes it helps to concentrate less on the behaviour or the boundary and more about the space or the life within…
We all know dogs love exercise, not only do they stretch their muscles but it is also wonderfully stimulating for them. When they arrive home they may still be wound up and excited, so put them in the garden to cool down, or try a scatter feeding game to calm them. However they also need fulfilment in other areas..
Like us they really benefit from positive social interaction, so try meeting up with friends for shared dog walks, ask a local dog walker to take them out to a doggy social walk once a week, find a good doggy day care that does hour play sessions, post on SeBPRA Operation Waggy Tails to find other local adopters to meet with.
They need to exercise their brains and concentrate on things, so every week find a dog walk in a new area they will love it (and so might you), use scatter feeding and snuffle mats, try some canine enrichment doggy puzzles.
And they need to expand their horizons and learn new skills, why not try out agility or scent training? Or maybe Cani-cross? Or invent new games around the house.. try hide the tennis ball for them to find.. they will soon understand the game.
The adopters that do these things with their dogs invariably tell us how it has helped with all areas of life with their dogs.. from obedience and recall to destructive behaviour to continual escape attempts, and in addition the adopter has had so much fun doing these things with their dogs.
In these days of mental health we are bombarded with good suggestions to help us in life, for example the five ways to wellbeing. Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give. By applying these to our dog we may well find that we all benefit.