He started by indicating that today he wanted to handle one of the issues he has encountered frequently and that there is more to owning a dog than just teaching commands. That is because dogs have needs and these needs have to be met. The common problem he wanted to address was the issue of dogs that live in small homes with no space for exercise.
He had just trained a dog that lives in a small condominium with a small courtyard. The dog was a Labrador mix and was left in the kennel all day as the owner was out working the rest of the day. Upon returning home, the owner walks the dog and allows them to run on a leash. A visit to the dog park is only on the weekend where the dog can run.
He outlined that for an animal with high energy, work needs and an intelligent mind that needs to be challenged to be kept in such an environment, can be an explosive combination. Exercise is good for a dog but walking your dog on a leash cannot be a substitute for off leash exercise. Walking a high energy dog for 30 minutes a day is just never enough.
Hence, you can make use of dog parks or a tennis court if you do not have enough space where you live. However, take note of hot pavements when using a tennis court and allow your dog to use it when it is cool. Socialization is also good for such a dog to let their energy out. He insisted that one should not go for a certain dog based on how they look.
As opposed to this, he indicated that one should consider the needs of that dog in addition to its intellect. If your dog has a high intellect, avoid overlooking this fact and seek to fulfill the need in it. If you have not fulfilled your dog’s needs yet, you should not blame them in case they behave awkwardly.
The dog he had handled earlier was one that was never exposed to enough exercise and often, it would take off. This implies that there is more out there that is rewarding than what it finds when it turns back to you. To solve this, you need to ensure that coming back to you is more rewarding and this does not happen instantly but gradually.
You can opt to use treats as you start and avoid recalling them as a request or putting it as a baby talk. Therefore, call your dog many times where there is a jackpot pay off and allow them to go back to what they were doing. This in turn conditions a dog’s mind to believe that when you say “come,” it is always a positive without taking anything away or using tricks.
One also needs to avoid changing what they are saying. If for example you use the words “Joe come,” stick to this. Teach the dog to accommodate you; do not accommodate the dog by changing what you are doing.