It has been said what a human needs to be happy and healthy. Also K9’s – whether pets or working dogs – have needs, like four pillars, building the foundation:
Relaxation & Stress Management: For the dog’s well-being, a regular and varied routine of the day is crucial. The dog owner is responsible to offer a balanced routine and relaxing environment. Unnecessary stressors, which result in inattentive learning or behaviour issues, need to be eliminated.
Exercise (in nature): A dog needs a meaningful workout; it is the drive to movement, discovery and any activity, which keeps the dog fit, and challenges its brain. There are countless possibilities to occupy dogs, to inspire them and therefore eliminate stress, morning or simply their boredom.
Relationship: Hardly anything in the coexistence between humans and dogs is more important than the highest possible level of social bonding. Consistency, consequence, patience, creativity, as well as the trust between the dog and handler in all social interactions are important for success.
Nutrition: While feeding a dog it is possible to make a lot of mistakes, but it is also possible to influence the malfunction of the organism. Every dog is an individual – like humans – with different needs. Long-haired dogs need more energy than short-haired ones, small dogs more than big dogs and active dogs more than lethargic ones. Growing dogs have other demands than pregnant dogs, working dogs, sick dogs, or old dogs, and there are products that are not an appropriate dog food …
Is it good for us humans to lie on the couch all day, without any social interaction, physical exercise, mental stimulation, and with eating processed food? If not, why should this be healthy for a dog? How can we expect a dog to be balanced and socialized if we offer him such a poor life?