Unless you are a reputable, responsible breeder with the proper knowledge of your particular breed then all your dogs should be sterilized. Breeding is (should always be) a profession and not something to make a quick buck on or to let the children see the miracle of nature.
Sterilization will eliminate completely the chances of an unwanted pregnancy, genetic defects, both physical and from the behaviour aspect will be ruled out.
You will cut down on many possible health risks such as cancer .
An intact male dog is a threat to all other dogs simply because he smells different so you are making it harder for your dog to socialize with other dogs, plus he will always have other 'things' on his mind and be less likely to bond with the family, more likely to roam and more likely to 'mark' his territory
Dogs dont just like to sniff, they need to sniff. We humans have in the region of 5 million scent cells and a Daxi about 125 million and the Bloodhound has in the region of 300 million.
Imagine what your life would be like if you were locked in your house day in and day out with no other entertainment than your spouse and/or family coming home? No wonder we see so many behaviour problems! Even if you have a huge garden, your dog knows every scent there is in it and just going for a 10 - 15 minute walk daily can cut down dramatically on all types of behaviour problems.
So many people have good intentions of taking their dogs out daily, but the constant pulling can really wear you down and what should be a pleasant outing for you both becomes a nightmare. The trouble with a pulling dog, is that the more the dog pulls, the more the behaviour is reinforced.
You can read this article 'Lead Pulling' to get started, or even better, enroll at one of the Recommend Dog Schools on the website to help you get started. Many people think that just stopping the pulling when the dog is on the walk is the way to go - it's not - the pulling and inappropriate behaviour needs to be stopped when you go to put on the collar and lead.
This pic may look like a fat dog is a happy dog, but on average it is not.
Don't just feed the recommended amount on the food package, this is an 'guideline' only. If you have a couch potato it would be silly to imagine that it would as much food as a bouncy, running around Border Collie for example. I once asked a wonderful breeder of Border Collies' how and what she fed as her dogs always looked stunning. I was expecting a scientific response and instead got 'they look too fat, I cut the food, they look too lean, I increase the food"!!
Don't feed from the table and use any treats given in your 'work to earn' program as below.
If you do make the effort to help your dog loose weight by taking for walks, using a low calorie food, increase exercise etc and your dog is still not loosing weight, then a trip to the vet is called for to rule out any possible medical reasons for the dog to be overweight.
An over weight dog is much more prone to multiple diseases and joint problems if overweight. Remember also that as your dog ages, on average as the activity levels lessen, so too should the food intake to prevent health problems.
The trouble with behaviour problems is that they don't go away by themselves, rather the reverse happens, they tend to get worse!
If a behaviourist is needed, call one in - if the problem can be solved at dog school - enroll for a course. You can even try to bring in simple House Rules which will make such a difference in your dog's behaviour and your relationship with it.
The majority of dog's end up in shelters between the ages of 9 - 18 months - the adolescent period and all that was required in the first place was for the owner to be given the tools to over
As the majority of us work to be able to pay our bonds, cars etc, why should our dogs get every single resource they require for free? Think about it - we supply virtually each and every resource our dogs need and yet we dont ask for anything in return?
In a natural dog pack, in addition to what the dog is bred for, dog's work for their living. They will be the breeders, the food searchers, the puppy sitters etc. Why not take advantage of your dogs resources, raise your own position in the combined human/canine social hierarchy and this in turn will make your dog feel more secure, more likely to listen, improve your bond and assist with the majority of behaviour problems. Many of these occur simply because the dogs person is not acting in a way the dog expects - by being in charge of the combined hierarchy.
Some exercises you can bring in - use the daily allowance of food and ask your dog to sit in front of you to receive each and every piece of food - this will help with jumping up behaviour. Ask you dog to sit or down before putting on the lead, going for a walk, waiting before going in or out the door, asking to play, asking for attention etc.
Such simple exercises can lead to a major improvement in behaviour.
Such a simple thing can help to get your dog returned to you quickly. Accidents happen, even with the most caring of owners.
Knowing what your dog was bred to do originally will give you ideas to keep your dog stimulated and also cut down on behaviour problems such as digging, chasing, herding.
So many dogs spend hours a day just waiting for their people to come home. Invest in good quality treat/chew toys to keep your dog entertained when you are out. Here is a link to an article on 50 Ways to Stuff a Kong which can also be used with the Tuff Toys for Dogs we recommend. Always make sure that whatever you leave for your dog is safe.
Other things you can do is build a Digging Pit for those dogs that like to dig - put up a tyre swinging from a tree for dogs that love pulling things - hide chew toys and treats around the garden for those dogs that love searching.
Just knowing what your dogs normal elimination patterns and normal food and water intake is will give you an immediate clue if your dog's health is not 100% percent.
Make sure you are up to date with vaccinations, de-worming, pest control and take your dog to the vet at first sign of any potential health problems.
By knowing your dog's normal body language indicates, you will be able to pick up immediately is your dog is not coping in any given situation. Here is a link to Body Language and a great article as well on observing your dog.
1. Canine Communication & Body Language
2. The fine art of observation.
Dogs seem to have an innate sense of fun and just having some fun time with your dog will not only increase you bond, you will both have a whale of a time and feel better in yourself.
Our dogs give us so very much and to me at least, improve my quality of life. Do what you can to make your 4 legged friends life a better one and above all else, learn to enjoy one another. Wishing you all a wonderful and abundant 2014