Exercise and Socialization
Exercise and proper socialization of your dog will have a big effect on how your dog behaves. We have our jobs, our friends, our hobbies to keep us entertained. Our dogs have only us. If we don’t provide them with some form of entertainment, they are going to get bored, and that boredom will lead to chewing, barking, digging and other forms of undesirable behavior. If we don’t spend enough time with them, they are going to go wild when they see us, jumping up and maybe even knocking us over in their excitement. This is not their fault. It is ours. We all have busy lives, but we have made a commitment to our dog and we should honor that commitment by spending time with him.
Spending time with our dog doesn’t have to mean an enormous time commitment. A 15-20 minute walk daily can make a big difference. Taking a training class, throwing the frisbee or ball, wrestling on the floor, etc. all are ways of bonding with our dog. Any kind of exercise where your dog can burn off some excess energy is good for his behavior and his health. If your dog isn’t enjoyable to spend time with because he’s had no training, we recommend a training class as the place to start.
Training classes are also good places to work on socialization of your dog. Your dog needs to see other people and other dogs regularly to become properly socialized. And obedience isn’t the only kind of training available–there are agility and other types of classes that many dogs and owners find extremely fun. If classes aren’t for you, try regular trips to the park, store or other public place where your dog can interact with children, adults and other dogs. Always properly supervise your dog, and if your dog shows signs of aggression seek the help of a professional trainer or behaviorist right away before he has too much time to practice that behavior.