How to Handle Dogs

Part of the attraction of owning one of these wonderful creatures is the interaction many owners enjoy in keeping their dog happy and healthy. There are many aspects to dog care and management, and it is extremely satisfying to know that you are paying meticulous attention to all the needs of the animal in your care. For many people, the daily routine involved in looking after a dog, from preparing his dinner to enjoying a romp in the countryside, is very fulfilling, and the loyal and unwavering affection received in return supremely rewarding.

Handling dogs

The manner in which you handle and interact with your dog will affect his behaviour and reactions towards you. In situations where there is tension in the air, they hear loud or raised voices, are touched roughly or are grabbed at suddenly, dogs feel threatened and insecure.

Dog Training

Physical communication

Most pet dogs learn to enjoy being fussed and stroked from an early age and appreciate being touched – particularly on the back, chest and sides, which are ‘safe’ areas. Areas that a dog will instinctively be wary about having touched are his eyes, mouth, paws, ears, tummy, tail and anal area. However, it is important to accustom your dog to having these areas touched without a fuss, in case they need grooming or veterinary attention.

Dogs threaten each other by staring and they learn quickly to take avoiding action if this happens, rather than risk the aggression that would otherwise accompany the staring. Humans tend to gaze lovingly at their pet, so it is important to teach your pet that staring from humans is fine.

I lave you ever thought about what effect the way you physically communicate with your dog has on his mental and physical well-being? While you imagine that a good-natured thump or strong patting on your dog’s rib or back, or even a boisterous ‘wrestle’ or ear-fondling session, signifies your affection for him, such treatment is likely to be uncomfortable or even downright painful for your pet. Try it on yourself and you’ll see what I mean. Gentle stroking is the best way of indicating your love and regard for him.

Vocal communication

A dog’s hearing is much more acute than ours. Loud noise, therefore, causes dogs discomfort and fear. Don’t raise your voice in anger towards your dog, subject him to blaring music or loud volume from the television. In addition, avoid sudden movements or loud noises directed at your dog, which he could construe as being aggressive. Dogs respond best to gentle, low and soothing tones – they may not understand the words, but they do understand the meaning conveyed through the tone of voice. This applies equally when you use harsh tones.

Compared with children, dogs are less able to understand sounds used as signals and find it harder to learn vocal commands, such as ‘sit’ and ‘come here’. It is much easier for them to learn such spoken commands if they are given in conjunction with hand signals or gestures during training. The hand signal can be gradually withdrawn as the dog becomes more familiar with the vocal commands.

Give him space

Dogs are quick to sense their owners’ emotions, and when all is not well they can be upset. Your dog needs a space to retreat to until he senses that you are in a good mood and ready to give him attention. This ‘sanctuary’ is also a place where he can hide from children, or other pets in the household, when he has had enough of interaction.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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