Do You Speak Dog?

This week I am dog-sitting Midnight He is a sweet lab-husky mix, with one blue eye and one brown eye.

He is about the same size my Cindy was, which makes things interesting. He loves playing with Cindy’s favorite toy (a stuffed tiger named Bobo), and sitting on her bench to look out the window (I brought it out of storage for him). I am being reminded of the feeling of a fuzzy chin resting on my leg, with hopeful eyes intently trying to communicate current desires. The sense of a strong companion at my feet and the sound of footsteps following me everywhere bring back sweet memories.

Midnight is a very lovable dog, but he had a few bad habits such as jumping on people, soft-biting, and pulling while on a walk. I have been working with him using the Dog Whisperer techniques, and he is responding very nicely! In just two days, he no longer jumps on me or bites. On a walk, he stays right next to me pretty well. He still gets a little anxious to move ahead, especially when there are distractions, but he is improving each time! 🙂

Midnight has a wonderful home where he gets a lot of love and attention, but some dogs are not so lucky. When owners give conflicting signals and then scold the dog for not behaving properly, the owners are angry and the dog is confused. Some dog owners do not understand the way dogs think. They anthropomorphize them and expect them to respond like humans. That does not work, because, well – they are DOGS. 🙂

A dog wants to work and know his place. When that is clear and his needs are met, both dog and owners will be happy. I encourage every dog owner to take their dog to a reputable obedience school so both they and the dog can learn to effectively communicate, and the dog can learn to socialize with other animals. And definitely visit Cesar Milan’s website, he has a wealth of valuable information and tips.

Midnight is only 1 year old, and is very healthy. But he has had some symptoms that lead me to believe he has some type of allergy. He has dry skin, occasionally scratches his body, and sometimes rubs his eyes, which would indicate he is itchy. This could be from the recent flea treatment, something in his dog food, or a lack of proper nutrients in his diet.

So, I have been giving Midnight antioxidants, a little Aloe, and putting Omega-3 fish oils in his dinner, and his coat is improving already! He is not rubbing his eyes as much either, so hopefully he is feeling better.

One fact I learned from the Dog Whisperer is that dogs need exercise, not only running and playing, but exercising their olfactory system. So when I walk Midnight, I occasionally stop and verbally release him so he can check out the hot mailboxes. 😉 He loves it. I vary the mailboxes at which we stop so he does not expect it, and it becomes a treat for him for walking attentively the rest of the time. He is also becoming an expert at fetch. 🙂

Midnight is a fun dog and we are having a grand time. Owning a dog should be a blessing, not a burden, and just as with children, it is a process of learning as they grow. Many dogs are quite intelligent and want to please their owner. So if your sweet pup does something that you would rather he or she did not, get some information because it is probably easy to correct, once you know their language.  🙂

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