How to make your pet dog a part of the family

How to Make your Pet Dog Part of the Family

The most important component of making any dog part of your family is learning to speak his language. You may well laugh, but whether spoken or signed, dogs communicate.

We all know what a wagging tail means; same for growls and barks. Or do we?

A tail wagged high and fast generally means a dog in a playful mood is expressing his willingness to play. Almost everyone knows this. A low slow wagging tail can be curiosity or aggression. Barking fast, sharp and loud can be excitement, the “hooray my person is home is home” type of excitement or the “you’re a stranger don’t come near me” type of excitement. Once you’ve heard that fast, sharp and loud bard directed at strangers as well as family a few times you will notice a difference provided you’re listening to your dog.

The placement of the dogs head, looking down or up, not meeting your eye, or meeting it directly, all have different meanings. Rolling on its back, trying to lick you, these are all communications your dog knows instinctively. If you don’t understand why and where your canine companion is using them, communication is difficult. If you can’t communicate with your pet, your relationship will never be all that it has the potential for.

Consistency is also vital to your dog knowing his place and feeling comfortable. If one member of the family feeds your pet at the table, your dog will expect everyone at every table to feed it. If no one feeds it at the table, your dog will never expect to be fed there. Don’t confuse him by feeding at the table sometimes and not others.

Do not discipline your dog for something, say chewing a shoe, one time and not the next. Be consistent. Do you confuse your pet by giving him a shoe as a chewtoy and then discipline him for chewing one of your good shoes. How is a dog to know the difference? Don’t set him up for misbehavior, he’s smart but not that smart.

Show affection, not aggression. A dog who is petted and rubbed and talked to, one who is played with and walked, who you treat like a family member, is going to be a much happier dog than one who is limited in its physical contact with humans. A happy dog is an affectionate dog.

Dogs are social animals. They enjoy contact with others be they canine or human. You don’t have to hold your dog in your lap or let it sleep in your bed, you don’t have to be in constant physical contact 24/7. You should though, let it sit or lay near you when you’re home or accompany you when you can safely take it on errands or trips. Have a spot on the floor near your bed, if you’re not comfortable with it actually on the bed, to sleep at night. Your dog will feel more comfortable and you may well feel that way too.

Learn to talk to your dog, be consistent in your treatment of him, they need love and attention, and you will have a happy faithful companion for years.

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