A Holistic Approach Works Best
It's important to consider both the mind and body when assessing the health of your companion animal. First and foremost provide adequate and appropriate levels of physical, mental and emotional stimulation. Otherwise, a pet can quickly become unbalanced creating problems. Equally important, but sometimes overlooked, are dietary needs. Maintaining a healthy micobiome is also key. All of these "ingredients" are intertwined. They impact and influence upon one another. Therefore, neglecting one can lead to undesirable and unforeseen consequences.
Pet Diet & Gastrointestinal System
For better health, pets should be fed a balanced, complete, nutritious diet consisting of quality ingredients. Dogs on a poor diet and those with a compromised digestive system are prone to developing physical issues that may lead to trainability problems.
Therefore, by maintaining a sound diet and healthy gut less trips to the vet are likely. In addition, it reduces the chance of behavioural problems developing.
Lastly, a solid foundation not only helps to improve a dogs' responsiveness to training, but also helps to regulate temperament.
At Hong Kong Canine we have worked with many dogs. For some we have reduced and (on occasion) resolved behaviour issues simply through a dietary change. For a dog suffering from a compromised digestive system, it was necessary to restore the health of the microbiome first. Thereafter, the benefits of dietary changes could take effect.
Successfully treating dogs that have experienced severe neglect, abandonment, abuse and punishment can be very challenging. Behaviour modification looks to replace undesirable behaviours with more desirable ones through positive or negative reinforcement/punishment.
From our experience - for a dog trapped in a severe state of fight or flight - solely using behaviour modification for treatment is limiting. One can expect minimal to moderate improvements at best. Therefore, a better treatment strategy is to use a combination of methodologies.
Natural Remedies Can Help
As part of the treatment plan for these dogs, natural remedies and herbal products should be taken into consideration. Such products tend to be much gentler on the system and little to no side effects are generally experienced. Only quality products of a high standard should be used.
Under the guidance of a qualified practitioner, pharmaceuticals can be useful. Although, they should only be used with great care and caution.
Dog Sports, Games, Training & Socialising
Many owners are diligent in draining their dogs' physical energy through regular walks outdoors. Where pet owners often fall short is providing a lack or variety of activities. This creates mental boredom. What might have been challenging or engaging for the dog three months ago may no longer be the case. This applies particularly for puppies and adolescent dogs. Taking a dog for the same walk everyday, meeting the same limited number of dogs and people repeatedly, can become terribly mind numbing for our canine companions. Thus, engaging in a variety of activities is a critical component of pet health care.
Unfortunately, for many dogs, mental boredom also leads to insufficient emotional stimulation. Subsequently, unwanted behavioural patterns ensue.
Some Food For Thought
A study conducted by Stanley Coren, PH.D concluded that "the average dog can learn to recognize about 165 words and gestures. "Super dogs"—those in the top 20 percent of canine intelligence—can learn 250 or more.".
Another study describes a border collie named Chaser as follows:-
"Perhaps the most linguistically advanced dog. Her vocabulary is around 1,000 words. What's more, Chaser understands some of the basics of grammar involved in simple sentence construction and seems to infer intention." —Stanley Coren.
Get a vet to check your pet first. This helps to rule out physical ailments or disease as the root cause of the issue(s).
At Hong Kong Canine we adopt a holistic approach to prevent and fix canine issues. Our targeted services look to treat, improve and maintain the physical, mental and emotional conditioning of your companion animals. Our online shop stocks unique healthcare products, pet food and training tools. These products focus on improving trainability, as well as enriching and enhancing pets' lives.
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