Upon getting my first dog, I was 10pounds overweight, drank too much, had above average stress, and minimal goals for my future. Now.. I’m not saying that the purchase of a puppy will completely lower your blood pressure, but, the parallels of mental and physical personal development can be directly linked with the care and responsibilities of owning a dog.
How you ask? For starters, I always give my customers the analogy that “cats” are like dating, and “dogs” are like marriage. The commitment to a dog is not to be taken lightly. You just can’t “go to Vegas” for the weekend and leave out a bowl of kibble, like with Morris the cat. With this said, the structure and discipline one will achieve through the routines of caring for a dog, will develop your mental and physical character accordingly.
- Dogs must be fed twice daily (unless free-feeders eating at will.) This means that you MUST begin a schedule to adhere to, so your pooch eats at the same times, every day. Dogs primarily learn from routine and repetition, and look forward to the same things at the same time.
- Dogs must get exercise. Depending on the breed and age, the average dog should be walked at a minimum, once per day, for a brisk 15 minutes or 1 mile, which ever comes first. A tired dog is a “calm-submissive” dog, and that mental calmness will make for a harmonious home.
- Dogs must be kept occupied. The majority of a dogs chewing, barking, digging, and other incessant behaviors are due to a lack of mental and physical challenges. You must learn how your specific breed of dog will benefit from various “tasks” throughout the day to occupy their desire to work and please you.
- Finally, dogs must be rewarded with positive praise (vocal) and affection (posture and touch.) This is the primary way to bond with your dog. When done correctly on a routine basis, the connection will be uncanny of the respect and leadership that your dog will see in you.
So, through the new found daily disciplines of owning my first Australian Shepherd, I lost 10 pounds, quit drinking, lowered my stress, and DOGGIE STEPS Dog Training was born. Through the dedication of dog ownership, my path of commitment and successes was laid. So how did I celebrate my new achievements? I bought another dog.
Since 2005, Mark Siebel has trained over 6000 satisfied K’9’s and customers alike. The goal has always been to show owners how to properly integrate their dog into the home setting. Consulting on what breed of dog to buy, where to buy/rescue from, preparing your home for your new puppy and health/nutrition are just a few ways DOGGIE STEPS helps its customers.