Owning a dog is like adding a child into the family. They need care, attention, love and discipline. If you do not prepare yourself for this addition, you may find difficulties in the months ahead. Take a few moments and read the tips below to learn the best advice for caring for your K-9 companion.
Consider teaching your dog hand signals along with verbal commands. Consistency and practice are key to teaching a dog these non-verbal commands. Many owners get frustrated and resort back to verbal commands, but a well-trained dog should understand both. Try using only verbal commands when the dog is out of sight range, but when close up, only use the hand signals.
Brushing your dog's teeth is important, but it is not easy. If your dog is resisting, once a day simply lift their lips and use your finger to rub their teeth lightly. Do it quickly at first, and then begin to draw out the time you spend performing this action. This will help them get used to the process. After that, you can begin using an actual brush and toothpaste.
If training has become routine and boring with your dog, consider introducing agility exercises into the mix. These will still teach your dog to obey and be challenging, but they tend to be a lot more fun than the regular commands. Get the whole family involved by making an obstacle course and working the dog through it frequently.
If your vet gives you medication to take home and administer to your dog, be sure and ask for ideas on getting him to swallow it. Dogs differ in their tolerance of pills and badly-flavored liquids, so have a few tricks up your sleeve in case he resists. Getting a dog to take medicine is important, but often challenging.
If you do not have any ear cleaner solution on hand, you can use a baby wipe instead. Simply wrap it around the tip of your finger and wipe the inside of the ear's surface. Only go as far as your finger can easily fit. Do not use Q-tips as they can injure the ear.
Not every dog is capable of going to the dog park. Some dogs will not do well around other dogs that they do not know. Get to know how your dog does around friends' or neighbors' dogs before you attempt to take him to the park. This way, you will know if he will be aggressive towards other dogs.
Give your dog a great place to sleep. Every dog needs a bed to call his own that is temperature controlled and comfortable. If not, the dog may alternate sleeping locations between undesirable locations, such as your sofa when you're not watching. A bed also gives him a great sense of security and belonging.
Keep your dog's teeth clean and healthy with regular brushing. Most canines don't mind you brushing their teeth, provided you introduce them to the process slowly and gently. Use a specially designed dog brush, along with other products made just for him. Remember to provide him with toys and biscuits that will also clean and protect his teeth.
Determine your dog's specific exercise regimen. Dogs have different fitness needs based their sex, overall health, age, breed mix, or breed. Every dog should have a couple 10-minute walks a day around the block. Dogs between 6 and 18 months, active breed or mixed breeds, terriers, hounds, and herding dogs will most likely require more fitness than other types of dogs.
Make sure you let your dog know you love him. Like a lot of things, people notice bad behavior more often than good behavior. This causes problems with dog behavior. Give your dog positive reinforcement every time they do something right. Your dog will probably show proper behavior more if this is done.
Do you have a hard time keeping your dog from barking? You might be encouraging this behavior without even realizing it. Your dog will keep barking if you acknowledge this behavior. It is best to ignore your dog until it stops barking, even if your dog wants to come inside.
Dogs can throw unexpected tantrums under the most unexpected situations. Getting strollers for large dogs can come in handy when you do not want to deal with a tired dog.
If you bathe your dog often, watch out for signs of painful earaches that can be problematic for canines. They can happen when too much water gets into the ears. Use cotton balls dubbed in baby oil while giving him a bath, and that should keep water from getting in, even if he splashes around.
Once you are equipped with great advice about caring for your dog, you will be better prepared for the day to day life with him. You will be better capable of dealing with any issues that occur. Take notes and post them around your house so when you question what you are doing, you can get a quick reminder of what you should do.