Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Caring for an Urban Canine

Cities are full of dogs, most of which are well cared for by loving owners, but city life is a far cry from the wild existence of our dogs’ ancestors. Limited space in urban areas means that Fido has little chance to run free; even small backyards are hard to come by. Noise is a constant factor in most bustling cities. Smells are pungent and highly concentrated, and are particularly intriguing for a sensitive canine nose. A dense urban population makes close encounters with people and all sorts of other animals inevitable. Dog owners can certainly overcome these urban challenges, but it takes dedication and consistent training to keep a city dog happy and healthy.

Without plenty of exercise and socialization many city dogs turn into urban terrors. One of the biggest problem behaviors of city dogs is excessive barking. The boredom of spending long days alone, combined with a high level of ambient noise, anxiety brought on by urban stimuli, and the frustration of pent up energy, will often cause a dog to bark incessantly for hours on end. This is no way for your dog to live, and in close city quarters it can also make you very unpopular with your neighbors. There are bark collars and other devices that you can use to deter your dog from barking. However, while these devices do have their place in training a dog not to bark incessantly, very often they treat the symptoms rather than the cause. In fact, you can even have your dog surgically debarked – this may satisfy your neighbors’ need for peace, but your dog will continue to suffer, albeit more quietly. Debarking surgery is a kind of animal abuse and is considered as an inhuman act. The best way to stop barking dogs is to address the root of the problem – boredom, stress, and frustration. The rigors of city life can become overwhelming, but you must remember that your dog needs your care, time, and attention. Dog owners in urban areas have an extra responsibility to provide for their pets’ basic needs. Develop a routine for exercising and socializing your city dog; you might be surprised by how much happier you both will feel.

The first step in caring for a dog in the city is exercise. Dogs were meant to spend each day roaming their territory in search of food and water, exploring scents, and socializing with their pack. Confining these animals to a city apartment for many solitary hours each day is going to have repercussions as energy builds up with no means of release. Walk your dog – walk him often, and walk him for long periods at a time. Keep a quick pace; this is exercise, not a Sunday stroll. Walking your dog for at least an hour each day will burn off excess energy and make a noticeable difference in behavior. You can also look for dog parks to allow your dog freedom to run and socialize, but your dog must play well with others and you must pay full attention. Dog parks are not an opportunity for owners to sit back and relax. If your dog has difficulty with other dogs, look for dog runs in your area. These are smaller enclosures meant for just a couple of dogs; in most cases other owners will ask if it is okay to bring their dog in with yours.

Draining excess energy daily will go a long way to stop barking dogs, but you can further improve behavior with regular socialization. The onslaught of stimulation a dog experiences in the city can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. You need to spend time daily exposing your dog to a variety of potentially stressful or frightening situations, ensuring that your dog has positive experiences when exposed to these situations, and reward him for behaving correctly and for relaxing. Socialization never ends; it is an ongoing process throughout the life of your dog. If you commit to providing your dog with the exercise, socialization, and training he needs, you will enjoy a remarkable improvement in his behavior, while greatly improving his quality of life – the quality of your life, and that of your neighbors, will undoubtedly improve as well.

Author:  This information was contributed by Havahart Wireless - the registered trade mark of Woodstream Corp. Havahart Wireless have worked relentlessly with technologies that can offer animals and their owners better life. Check out this device used to stop barking dogs.

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