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Become team-mates with your pup

Building a strong, trusting bond with your pup and becoming team-mates is so much more rewarding than existing dominance-based or pack leader training. So, what makes a great pet team?

Surprisingly, the tactics for creating a successful pet team are not that different to what makes a great human team, based on principles of trust, honesty, responsibility, and support. Here’s some pointers to help you get started:

  1. Setting up for success – provide opportunities for your dog to succeed. Give them the opportunity to learn and display calm behaviour in areas that are less stressful such as walking on quiet streets rather than main roads.
  2. Trusting each other – keep your dog away from things that make them feel vulnerable. Your dog will learn that you will not put them in situations where they feel like they need to defend themselves. 
  3. Humble and honest – dogs being dogs will bark, dig, run, growl and sniff as natural dog behaviours. Dogs are individuals and have their own unique personalities. It is important we acknowledge when there is unnatural behaviour such as excessive barking or destructive behaviours, and positively work towards correcting these behaviours. If your dog struggles to settle and relax (ensuring their needs have been adequately met), this could be an indicator for more structure and training or a visit to the Vet.
  4. Strive to improve – learning never stops. Continue to make your dog as comfortable, happy, and stimulated as possible. Challenge their brains and encourage learning. You can find some great ideas here and here.
  5. Responsibility – invest time everyday teaching their pets how to be good citizens. A few minutes each day reinforcing the basics like “sit”, “stay”, “come” and so on help maintain great manners. Keep in mind, on-going, unnatural behaviours such as general nervousness, lack of engagement and not settling may reflect underlying anxieties which should be addressed with the help of your Vet.
  6. Managing expectations – it is useful to educate yourself on the basics of natural dog behaviours and body language. Expecting our dogs to behave in ways that are unnatural or have not been correctly taught will lead to stress for both you and your dog. Having this knowledge will help you to identify behaviours your dog may display that need further investigation.

Putting in the time and effort to build an amicable relationship with your dog can only be a positive. Not only will you be able to abundantly enjoy their company but together you’ll develop confidence to take on new adventures and learn skills with ease.

Any advice is general only and has not considered your personal circumstances, so may not be right for you. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider to decide if a product is right for you. Insurance products are issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ABN 78 090 584 473; AFSL 241436) and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ABN 95 075 949 923; AFSL 420183) through our Authorised Representatives and our distribution partners.

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