Your dog is a social being, just like you! He/she loves walking in the park with you, playing ball or chase with you, and just being with you. Even when he/she's lying around the house or the backyard having a snooze, your dog is well aware of your presence, or absence, and appreciates every minute you spend with him/her. If you have a family, your dog loves being part of your family and no doubt has a special relationship with most, if not all, of the family members.
I have a Rottweiler, Kara, and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Jet. They're both female and both just turned 9 years. I've had them since they were puppies, and they're definitely members of my family. I love them to bits and would be lost without them.
I'll bet your dog is much like mine when it comes to interacting with you.
I know my dogs are always beside themselves with joy and excitement whenever I come home - regardless of whether I've been away for a week, or just popped out for 10 minutes! What human gets that excited to see you? No one? I thought so. I don't know any human who's even half that happy to see me.
Kara often stands and wags her tail when I walk past her in the house or when I talk to her. And Jet doesn't move from her comfortable position lying down. But her tail thumps up and down on the floor. Just goes to show that every dog has his/her own unique personality. Just like us.
And my dogs just love being let in from outside. They consider their place is in the house - just like the human members of the household!
And why not? Dogs really can be a man's (or a woman's or a child's) best friend. They rarely ask for anything. So long as you feed them regularly, and show them some love and attention, they're happy. And a happy dog is the first step to a healthy dog. (Don't get me wrong, dogs don't have to be allowed in the house to be happy - mind you, my dogs would like me to believe that this is the case!)
Consistency when dealing with your dog is very important. And I'm talking here about both the initial teaching/training of your dog, and also the reinforcement of those teachings throughout your dog's life.
It's essential for your dog's well being for you to be consistent when disciplining, playing with and just simply spending time with, your dog. But it's also important for other members of the household (and even frequent visitors) to treat your dog in a similar manner where possible. This is particularly so if your dog has any problem behaviours, such as jumping up at people. If you don't also ask your family and your visitors to make it clear to your dog that this is unacceptable, your dog is unlikely to curb the jumping altogether. And this may simply perpetuate the problem.
Dogs who experience consistency tend to be better behaved dogs, and, guess what? You guessed it - better behaved dogs are happier dogs, and happier dogs are healthier dogs!
So you know what to do - love your dog, spend quality time with your dog, and make sure you're consistent.
Your Dog is a Social Animal - and Needs You!
by Brigitte Smith
(c) Brigitte Smith, Healthy Happy Dogs, 2004
Brigitte Smith is a dog lover and owns 2 dogs - a Rottweiler and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Brigitte has a special interest in improving the health and possibly extending the life of your dog. You can subscribe to the Healthy Happy Dogs ezine - for free tips, information, strategies and resources for a healthier happier dog - at www.HealthyHappyDogs.com.