How to train a dog

Your dog pulls on a leash , barks at the slightest noise, jumps on guests , has aggression problems or simply does not obey ... Or only when he wants to! Do you feel concerned?

Dogs are genetically programmed to be extremely active. Their ancestors, the commensal dogs (native dogs), spent most of their time traveling in search of their sustenance. Subsequently, they were selected according to their aptitudes in order to accomplish certain tasks: keep a herd, bring back game, bring out certain preys from their burrows, etc.

In the past, no one would buy a dog and then spend eight hours in a cage; they had a job to do with their adoptive family and performed their duties with pleasure. They had a healthy lifestyle that allowed them to be balanced in their behavior and psychologically. In the evening, they collapsed from fatigue and slept peacefully until the next day's work arrived.

Today, most of the time we decide to adopt a dog for very different reasons than those that motivated us in the past. To have company, to unconditionally give affection to a being , to fill the presence of a person during a bereavement or a breakup or teach our children a sense of responsibility.

Despite all these reasons that push us to want a four-legged companion, we must not forget to respect their needs, to give them a work of the mentally stimulating and making them expend energy. If your dog is behaving badly, he just might not have anything better to do!

Joël Dehasse , a world-renowned Belgian behavioral veterinarian, has developed a simplified activity model, making it possible to classify canine activities into five main categories. It turns out that the dog needs an average of 3 to 5 hours of activity per day . Note that physical exercise for a puppy is a bit different!

From the book by the same author: How to change my dog's behavior in 7 days

Each dog has different energy levels, of course: some breeds, such as the Border Collie , Husky, and Australian Shepherd, need more activity, both physical and mental. Other breeds, like the Chihuahua or the Pug , need it a little less, but all of them need exercise and play.

The activities are divided into 5 categories:

  • Locomotor activity : walking, walking, running, agility and swimming.

* Tip: If your dog is overflowing with energy, you can use a dog backpack by inserting a load that is equivalent to 10% of the animal's weight inside. Your dog will spend a lot more energy this way.

  • Intellectual activity : Games requiring discrimination or searching for objects

  • Sexual activity : mainly for breeders, in general pets are sterilized.

  • Vocal activity : barking , singing, yelling… not really appreciated by the owners!

  • Chewing activity : eating, chewing strips of leather, bones, toys, pulling ropes… to prevent them from chewing on table legs and brand new shoes.

How to train your dog mentally and / or physically

  • Do obedience training sessions

  • Make him deserve every caress and cookie he receives by always asking him to obey an order before offering it to him

  • Ask him for commands during your walks

  • The exercise to master the command remains

  • Give him his food in a Kong type toy

  • Him learn new tricks using your Clicker

  • Take it with you on your jogging sessions

  • Teach him how to use a treadmill

  • Take it with you when you ride a bike

  • Give him a bone to chew on

  • Throw his croquettes on the ground or in your garden instead of serving them in a bowl

  • Practice a winter sport or a dog harnessed sport (such as canicross )

With a little imagination, you can find even more ideas to efficiently channel the energy of your best friend.

All dogs have different needs in terms of the energy expenditure necessary for their well-being, depending on the breed and their temperament. In general, a minimum of 1h30 of sport is essential for the well-being of your dog.

A dog who has spent himself physically and mentally has less tendency to develop bad behavior since he will be less tense, anxious and stressed. The furball that you adopted will also be more apt to learn and more attentive to your requests regarding the tricks or commands that it already knows.