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People often assign human traits to their canine counterparts. However, it's important to remember that our beloved four-legged pets possess their own unique needs and traits. Keeping your pet happy requires understanding how she thinks and what her needs are.
1. Dogs do get lonely. They really should not be left on their own for extended periods of time. Alone time can breed unhealthy behaviors such as separation anxiety. Your dog just wants to be with you and your family.
2. Dogs understand the pecking order. Your dog wants to know who is in charge and how everyone else fits into the order of things. As a dog owner, you are the designated leader, so take charge and show your pooch what behaviors are acceptable and what are not.
3. Get your canine moving! Spend time engaging your dog in physical activities. Playing fetch can be one activity – it doesn't have to be complicated! Most breeds need a certain amount of exercise every day. Consider what your dog was bred for and try to find an appropriate activity.
4. Give your dog some social time. Your dog will enjoy spending time with you in varied activities from accompanying you on errands to sofa time in front of the television. Allow your dog plenty of time to socialize with her peers as well. Supervised playtime at the dog park can be just what your dog needs to keep her occupied.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|