- Do NOT comfort the weak (you will have to fight your human nurturing instincts here and act like an older “example” dog or mother dog (the mother dog has many fast-growing offspring – it’s her job to make sure they’re respectful and learning to mature behaviorally speaking)…be sure and keep your human mouth shut too so you don’t inadvertently praise misbehavior or enable the testing behavior that naturally occurs during the honeymoon phase/first two to three weeks of ownership with your rescue! Let the dog grow mentally and emotionally stronger in calmness and, even better, in silence because this will prevent all-too-common psychotic co-dependancy).
- Exercise often. (work the dog’s amazing cardiovascular system and make sure the dog really pants) (also teach the dog how to heel/walk beside you nicely without pulling on leash).
- Socialize often. (expose your new dog to as many differing situations and people and animals as possible – especially during the honeymoon phase – be responsible).
- Remember obedience training is secondary to healthy relationship and clear understanding between owner and dog. (Learn the dog language – read my books)
- Claim your space, your furniture, and your new dog. (the dog is yours not the other way round. Don’t be one of the people who pretends otherwise because that is a losing philosophy for both owner and dog and it often backfires months later when the dog has claimed everything and now acts like Al Capone).
- Touching is like talking in dog language. (is your dog speaking politely to you and your guests? Make sure to guide touch interactions – play hard to get and do NOT give the dog every little thing it desires) 6.5 Read and reread Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to Bite You! and So Long Separation Anxiety (these books are very different from the masses of dog behavioral books in the market place. They will help anyone with an open and curious mind).
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Building a healthy relationship the way all balanced, example dogs do can be incredibly rewarding. Here’s a pro tip for ya: Ignore the status quo and think a bit more like an animal while blending in all the calmness and sociability required for a skilled and highly social dog living in your household in the modern world!