Meeting the needs of the modern day dog

golden retriever running

Rewind the clock back 30 years.

Most of us didn’t have front fences and lived on ¼ acre blocks, Mum’s were domestic Goddesses, kids didn’t have electronic equipment, work hours were more predictable and shorter ….. and what about our dogs?

I honestly have no idea what my dogs did! I know they followed us to school and were waiting for us after school. We’d get home, throw our bags down, get on our bikes and good old ‘Fido’ would follow us kids to the park then come home with us for dinner.

But where was faithful ‘Fido’ during the day and what did he do?

‘Fido’ spent the day doing stuff that ‘Fido’ wanted to do;  foraging, playing and interacting with other fellow canines, chased the local cat or a few Magpies, found some really cool smelling stuff to explore, walked, galloped and trotted to his heart’s content…..  ‘Fido’ had fun and ‘Fido’ was relaxed and calm.

Fast forward to 2016. We all have fences and the block sizes are much smaller, generally all members of the home work or are at school, work hours are more unpredictable and much longer, kids are nowhere near as active….. and our dogs? They are confined for the bulk of their day until their people come home. So what does your dog do all day?

Our dogs now rely on us to provide them access to the awesome stuff that they want to do. We race in the door, put the lead on ‘Fido’ and off we go for exercise time.  What ‘Fido’ used to be able to do all day long is now condensed into a couple of hours a day and much of the time this is on lead.  Poor ‘Fido’ moves from ‘bored, bored, bored’ to ‘woohoo!’ in the blink of an eye. ‘Fido’ has lost his happy medium.

Could this be the reason that when you get home ‘Fido’ is SUPER excited and has trouble calming down, ‘Fido’ pulls on the lead, when you let ‘Fido’ off lead at the park he won’t listen to you, your neighbours tell you that ‘Fido’ is barking during the day, your backyard looks like a demolition site, ‘Fido’ destroys stuff around the house ….. the short answer is yes!

As dog owners we gravitate towards the biggest, greenest open area we can find, but is that where ‘Fido’ really wants to go? Possibly not as dogs love to explore! What is to explore at a big, wide, green open area? Try taking ‘Fido’ to locations that exercise his mind and body. Locations where he has to move his body and navigate over obstacles, use his nose and explore!

So what can we do?

Happy training!

Tracey Lord

Head Trainer, Kalmpets Animal Behaviour Centre

[btnsx id=”2164″]

What issues are you
having with your pet?