Go for a walk with your dog!
Susan Sternberg has spent her career learning about dogs. She has been a pioneer in the shelter world, developing an effective system for evaluating shelter dogs, to make sure that they are safe to be adopted out into a new home. I have followed her, her entire career and as dog professionals, we owe her a debt of gratitude for what she has taught us.
Below is a list of ten elements that she believes are necessary to building a great relationship between you and your dog. I agree.
1 – Have your dog’s attention (your dog looks to you for direction and for access to things they want).
2 – Train your dog on a daily basis.
3 – Maintain at least 10 discreet behaviors (10 different cues) using reward based training.
4 – Spend quality time out in nature with your dog. Allow you dog to sniff and experience their world through scent. Take your dog for a walk!
5 – Touch and handle your dog regularly.
6 – Engage in partnered access to your dog’s natural instincts through games like tug, chase, fetch, or nose work.
7 – See your dog as a team mate and an individual.
8 – Your dog should want to play with YOU more than they want to play with other dogs.
9 – Training is for life. Trained cues need to be maintained by rewarding them over the dog’s life time.
10 – Share joy with your dog, in every way possible.