How to live well with a dog?

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Do you want a dog?

 

 First of all, ask yourself a question if you are ready to dedicate to your dog everyday time to go for a walk not less than three times a day at regular intervals. It requires going out sometimes when it rains and snows – when you actually prefer to stay indoors,. It requires to remove a mess after your dog. And you need to find a walkable area, the best thing is if it is a space frequented by other dog owners and thus your dogs meet and play together. The most suitable places are those without road traffic, where dogs are safe from collisions with vehicles and where they do not inhale the air polluted by cars. One has to be careful about passers – by, if you are not certain of reactions of your dog to strangers or cyclists. The size and weight of dogs is important when going for a walk, because it can be difficult to hold a dog when it is heavy, strong, agitated and tends to pull the leash.

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It is worth considering when you select a dog breed – if you can manage it outdoors. Some people simply do not find themselves fit enough to perform this regular duty. Some breeds are particularly suitable to do guarding work to secure large premises especially at night. They can frighten away because of their formidable size and because they bark and thus alarm people about the danger. Domestic breeds may also prove useful by barking when they face some intrusion.

When one does not want to hear a dog barking at home – it is possible to choose a breed that barks rarely. It is not difficult as there are many dog breed selectors available on the Internet, which will guide you through a set of questions regarding your particular requirements.

First of all, one should consider the size of dog as they vary from very tiny ones weighting under 15 pounds up to 110 pounds and more. They also vary in character – from very quiet to aggressive.

One should reflect on own habits and needs. Is a dog supposed to be a friend responsive to your need to have a companion? It is only in relatively recent times that dogs have been kept only as domestic pets.

The dog will repay with a faithful attitude if provided with a good house, friendly treatment, regular food and exercise and veterinary service when necessary.

A hint on how to relax a stressed dog – you may simply give him a massage by strolling palms of your hands along his body. It gives you an awareness about how your dog reacts to your touch, if it reacts as usual and no pain or abnormal behaviour is detected. It also causes a better, close contact with your dog. If you want to call down a nervous dog, lightly rest the flat palm of your hand on your dog’s head or neck. Then make slow, sweeping passes along the spine. Repeat this several times slowly. You may augment the pressure of your hand if your dog likes it. Do not start this exercise by pressing straight down on the lower part of the spine. At the end, leave one hand on the head and the other one on the pelvis area of your dog as these two parts of the spinal cord control the rest and relaxation parts of the body.

This simple technique proves efficient when your dog is agitated, fearful or stressed. It also enables you to understand better how your dog reacts to you and senses you. Understanding how your dog perceives you may enable you to relate better to your pet.

It is worth noting that dogs understand many human feelings. They are capable of strong feeling and they are very keen on social interaction. When you are sad your dog can perceive this feeling and act accordingly. Dogs usually try to placate the person who is upset. Often they are subdued, refuse to eat or to play with their toys.

Thanks to their accentuate sense of smell, it is believed dogs can detect your illness as they can distinguish subtle chemical changes due to illness and odour it causes. There are many reports of dogs becoming more caring, attentive and loving when they know the person is ill or simply weak. There are many reports of pregnant women who faced their dogs being particularly attentive, escorting them whenever they were going or putting their head on a woman’s belly.

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As for the very keen sense of smell, dogs should be kept possibly far from road traffic as the pollution emitted by cars comes at the height of dogs and it is very poisonous to them. They also feel when you are afraid or scared, because they smell adrenaline, which is produced when a person feels fear. They also understand the body language connected to it. Their reactions vary according to their race. While big dogs like Rottweilers and Dobermans will take a posture of a protector, smaller dogs tend to follow the owner’s behaviour and start to feel scared themselves.

Dogs can sense unpleasant situations about to take place such as hair cutting, nail trimming or administering medicine. Owners may help their pets to submit to these unpleasant experiences if they reassure them with their presence and gentle words.

It is believed dogs can understand the meaning of roughly 160 words and understand the body language. And it is worth to know their reactions and capabilities in order to understand what message they convey and how to provide them with proper treatment.

Grzegorz Gruener

 

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