Feeding your dog a well – balanced diet and creating healthy eating habits have a great impact on your dogÂ’s quality of life.Providing your dog with a nutritious and balance diet will ensure he lives a healthy and long life.Furthermore, we must pay attention to the powerful role that food plays in your dogÂ’s psychological health. We can teach our dogs how to the behave around food and we can influence their behavior in a positive way such as, using food as a reward in obedience training or establishing our leadership; on the other hand, bad eating manners can be the cause of issues like dominant behaviors, food aggression and many other behavior problems.
Food is an extremely powerful behavior reward for dogs, thatÂ’s why we must teach our dogs how to behave properly around it, always making sure we are not feeding bad behavior.
Let me give you few guidelines for creating healthy eating manners:
– When feeding your dog ask him to patiently sit and wait at a distance, while you prepare his food, place his food dish on the floor and then tell him when to approach it and begin eating. Always wait until you can determine that your dog is calm.
– Be careful not to create overexcitement when feeding your dog, remember that feeding an overexcited dog will reward and reinforce his overexcitement, which can create problems like eating too fast or food aggression. Always ask your dog to be calm around food.
– Always provide a calm and safe place for your dog to eat, donÂ’t allow kids, other dogs or anybody to bother your dog while eating. That helps prevent food guarding or aggression.
– When using treats to teach your dog obedience commands, make sure you give him the treat right at the moment he does what you asked for, not before and certainly no treats if he doesnÂ’t obey.
– Never feed your dog when he begs for it or as a response to a bark, if you do you will be feeding his dominant behavior, which can eventually be the trigger to issues like over protectiveness or aggression towards other dogs or even humans.
– Feed your dog his meal a short time after exercising him, ideally after a well-structured walk or run, this way his meal becomes a reward for a well-done activity, it gives the walk an even more powerful meaning. Always make sure you give your dog enough time to cool down before feeding him, about 15 to 20 min, itÂ’s recommended.
– Set your dogÂ’s feeding times, after the humansÂ’ meal times. This helps establish everybodyÂ’s leadership. For instance, if you dog eats in the morning, feed him after you have finished your breakfast, if you feed him again at night, feed him after you have your dinner.
– To discourage begging behavior, NEVER feed your dog when he is begging. Just ignore him instead.
– DonÂ’t allow your dog or give him the opportunity to steal food, whether itÂ’s from kitchen countertops, the dinning table or your hands. ThatÂ’s a terribly bad habit that can also be very dangerous for your dog and your family.
– Each time you are giving your dog food or treats ask yourself, what behavior am I rewarding right now? If your dog is being calm and obedient go ahead and feed him, if not ask for good behavior, wait until itÂ’s done and then feed him.
Following these feeding guidelines will influence your dogÂ’s behavior in many way, it will teach your dog obedience, self control, respect and most importantly it will strengthen your bond, as your dog will trust, respect and unconditionally love you as the special one who provides the leadership and food that will keep him healthy, happy and balanced for life.
Social Canine provides dog obedience training and behavior consulting services, dog rescue and a dog owners support website (dog-obedience-and-behavior-support) that provides a complete source of information to help dog owners become the best dog owners they can be, raising healthy, happy and well behaved dogs; creating a strong bond of trust and respect with their dogs in the process.