Why does anyone get a dog? The answer to that has changed drastically over the course of history. Most of us have seen a major change in what dog ownership looks like during our lifetime. It wasn’t long ago that dogs would spend most if not all of their time outside, even sleeping outside. They would keep the yard safe from threats, such as the mailman, other dogs, but most importantly squirrels. They would keep look out when the kids played outside, and yes kids still played outside. It was a strange time indeed.
If we go back a little further, each breed was created for some specific task. For example the little Cavalier King Charles puppy on my lap has strong hunting ties in it’s origin. The Bernese Mountain Dog I grew up with was used to pull carts and watch over farms. My Keeshond was used as a watchdog on barges in Holland. The point is every breed had a job and a drive to work.
Fast forward to today and our ancestors would consider us silly for planning trips based around our dogs, allowing them on furniture, and buying them a doggie cupcake on their birthday. Meal times of kibble in stainless steel bowls, daily walks, and obedience training (as we structure it today) would feel very foreign to not only our relatives of the past, but our dog’s ancestors as well.
Things in the dog world have definitely changed, and with this change the way we train has had to morph and adapt. Dogs, in the current day, are the equivalent of unemployed couch potatoes if they’re not put to work. Yes, companionship is their main job however they need both mental and physical exercise. If they don’t get that exercise they might start inventing projects to make themselves useful. For example, removing unneeded foam from your brand new king mattress, chewing shoes, or barking excessively at passers by.
The saying “a tired dog is a good dog” is so very true. We have a generation of millennial dogs on our hands that need to feel useful and given jobs to do. Suburban K9 can help you and your pup by laying the foundation to a happy adventure filled life.
Something as simple as walking with your dog differently can make a significant difference, and give them a job to do. General obedience, nose work, and agility are other great activities that will mentally challenge your pup while also providing physical exercise. They are also fun and help strengthen the bond with your canine companion!
Just remember a tired dog is a good dog, a good dog is a happy dog, a happy dog leads to a happy life.