Got Dog Behavioral
Does your dog chew or eat things he/she is not supposed to while you’re at work?
Does your dog poop in the house while you’re away?
Boredom! Plain and simple, your dog is bored and these are activities that dogs do when they’re bored.
Contrary to what you’ve heard, your dog doesn’t chew your shoes out of spite for leaving him/her alone all day. According to Psychology Today, dogs are incapable of such human emotions. Your dog is not sitting around plotting against you. Your cat might, I’m convinced of it, but dogs don’t. Plain and simple your dog is just bored. Your dog is home all day, by themselves with nothing to do. They can’t turn on the TV and catch up with the latest episodes of The Wire, or browse the web for the latest cat meme, or call up his friends to gab about the FedEx man new scent.
Unlike humans, who take in the world through sight and sound, dogs take in the world through smell. We like to stay current by watching or reading the news and we do that via a TV or a computer. Dogs, on the other hand, catch up with local news by sniffing their surroundings. A dog’s nose is powerful and they can pick up smells that we humans can’t even begin to pretend are there. The world is a dog’s Facebook and going for walks is like us catching up with friends on social media.
When we see a post we like we hit the “Like” button. We might even comment on it. This is no different from dogs. Except that their social media is their neighborhood and the “Like” button is peeing on it, or marking it. When dogs mark, they are leaving “comments” for others to “read”. Only God and dogs know what those comments say. But what is certain is that dogs live for it and when we deprive them of that activity they “act out”.
Walking is not just about exercise or letting them out to use the bathroom. It is a primal ritual for ALL dogs that unfortunately people don’t quite comprehend and therefore dismiss as unimportant. When dogs don’t get regular daily walks, they are being deprived of something essential for their well-being just as if we were suddenly cut off from the rest of society with no social connection at all and no form of entertainment. Can you imagine? We would go stir crazy and probably find amusement in chewing on a shoe.
If humans weren’t in the picture, dogs would walk/migrate all day going from place to place looking for food and finally a nice place to lay down to sleep so that they can do it all over again the next day. It is very unnatural for a dog to stay in one place. We’re talking thousands of years of instinct at work here. Think about that the next time you leave for work and come back to a half-eaten sofa. Your dog is not mad at you. They are just bored out of their minds.
Of course, we need to go to work. So what’s the solution? Play to your animals instincts. Take him/her for a nice long walk early in the morning and another walk when you come back home. Make it at least 30 minutes each. Every dog is different. Some dogs will need more time, others less. You know your dog better than anyone. Only you can judge how long he/she needs by his/her level of energy. If you have a working dog, sitting at home with nothing to do is murder. They’re going to need at least 2 hours a day. If you have a lap dog with little energy, you may just get away with just a few minutes. Experiment, but most importantly have fun with it. Join in smelling your surroundings. You’d be surprised what you’d pick up.
But who has the time or the energy for all of that walking? For starters, your dog does. And your dog is important to you, right? Otherwise, why have him/her? We love our dogs and we want the best for them. However, if you aren’t walking your dog, you’re not fulfilling all of his/her essential needs. Food and water are a must to keep them alive and healthy. Love and attention are great for their soul. Walking is just as essential, if not more, for forming strong bonds with your dog and for his/her mental well-being.
The yard and the dog park are nice, but they do NOTHING for building a bond between you and your dog, or provide any mental challenge at all. The walks are just as important if not more than food, water, or attention. Nobody has the time these days to walk a dog. We are all busy. We HAVE to make the time to do so. Just like you make time to feed and care for him/her.
That’s where a professional dog walkers can help. We can never replace your important walks with your dog. But we can help. Walk him/her for 15-30 minutes in the morning before breakfast or after work before dinner and we can do the rest. This way they get the benefits of walking with his/her pack while forming essential bonds with you and then later with us to burn off excess energy and stimulate their minds. I guarantee your dog behavioral problems will disappear.