Wednesday, March 28, 2012

People's basic needs

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Yesterday I mentioned some of dogs’ basic needs, so I figured it would be suiting to mention people’s needs when they live with dogs. Because it’s fun and games, but its not all happy smiles at times.

If you are like me, when you’ve watched The Dog Whisperer you’ve noticed dogs have very little part of the blame, and poor Cesar Millan is stuck dealing with people’s issues that affects dogs. So here are some ideas to help if you have dogs around the house and is about to go insane.

Know what your dog needs. If you have a puppy, he will have tons of energy. If your dog is alone at home all day, he will be quite bored. If your dog is old, he’ll need to exercise but won’t want to. It’s not smart to leave your dog unattended all day, avoid walking him in the evening and still get mad if he chews through your shoes.


Be prepared. When my husband and I adopted our first dog, Jack, we figured we could do it. We both had had dogs in the past, and it would be easy-peasy. Not so much. We had  a major potty training issue. People told us to use a rolled up newspaper to threaten him, put his nose right up to the pee and say a firm ‘NO’, and even hit him, which we weren’t willing to do. Nothing worked. In fact, it made it worse! Jack started going out of his way to hide where he peed. Finally we broke down and hired an online dog trainer, and in two days (I’m not joking!) he had learned where to go.

Dog-proof your house. Whether you buy a doggie gate, place sheets on your furniture or get all your knick-knacks out of their reach, do what you need to adapt it to your dog. I know many Americans who leave their dogs in cages the whole day and claim they love it. I’m not judging, but I don’t find it cool at all. So my couch has a permanent bed sheet on top, which only comes out when visitors come to our house.

It’s a dog, not a baby. I’m guilty of this one. I want to cuddle, hug and pet my dogs all the time. But I restrain myself. When they tried to climb onto the couch or my lap uninvited, I made a point of moving them down, even if I wanted them there. I saw through the puppy eyes at the dinner table and now they don’t even care for our meals. The firmer you are, the easier it will be latter on.