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How To Make Your Dog Smarter
Stimulation is the key.
Street dog with a sullen and dull expression adopted into a dog-loving family and transformed into a happy, sociable doggie with a huge smile and lively burning eyes, and an inquisitive and playful attitude. Every dog lover is sure to be aware of this transformation and has probably witnessed a few. The cause of this scenario? Stimulation. It is widely acknowledged in kids that brain stimulation is essential for the learning process. It prepares the mind to perform better and to be more alert. This same theory applies to dogs too. Circumstances, environs, and lifestyles are all contributing factors to the enhancement of the brain. As in the case mentioned above, the addition of loads of hugs and kisses must have helped too.
Whether or not your dog is stimulated is palpable in its face. A dog with inadequate stimulation would have a dull expression and is generally less responsive to its surroundings compared to one that is highly stimulated.
As dog owners, we all want our dogs to be smart and we take pride in them when they are; that is the reason dog talent shows came into existence. And there are a few simple steps we can execute for our canine friends so that they will be intellectually wiser.
Talking comes naturally to men and everybody needs to communicate, so it is nothing abnormal to engage in conversations with your dog or any other pets you may have. But beyond talking, there's communication: expressing on a deeper level. Don't talk to your dog only when you're giving it a command, or saying phrases as "Good dog" or "Dinner's ready"; talk to it just as if it were a human being - dogs aren't called man's best friends without a reason; tell it about your day when you come home from work or elsewhere, deep down to the trivial details(this can benefit you as a stress-relieving agent too); comment about the on-screen characters when you're both cuddling before the television; include it in family discussions; and always maintain eye contact when possible. Gazing into one another's eyes brings about a feeling of connection, thus fostering a stronger bond between you and your pooch.
Your dog will then be more responsive and expressive by means of facial expressions, sounds, and attention. Well, don't expect to be hearing words out of its mouth of course, but whines and whimpers, and on occasions, a mumble or a grumble along with incalculable expressions which an unstimulated dog will not display.
Music nurtures the soul; it has worked for both men and plants. However, types of music must be considered too. Soothing music creates a relaxing environment and is used in many areas of life to release stress and anxiety, and dogs who are exposed to music tend to be calmer and better at articulation. Play musical instruments to or sing with your dog in the room and one day you'll be surprise to hear it singing(howling melodically) with you.
Apart from Frisbee and Fetch, games equivalent to our Sudoku and crossword puzzles help jogged the brain. Activities such as trekking, hunting, and narcotics training are highly stimulating. Breeds from the hound, terrier, and working categories, or others like pointers, setters, and spaniels naturally love such occupations while indoor and smaller breeds like Chihuahuas or Pekingeses can settle for less adrenaline-filled games such as puzzles and hide-and-seek games.
Socialization shapes a dog's behavior and personality. It educates it in developing relationships with and tolerating other animals and people in its environment. This leads to growth in character, personality, and intellectual curiosity. Well-socialized dogs tend to be more receptive, approachable, friendly, happy, and well-behaved compared to their reversed counterparts who are usually much reserved.
Interactions can take place in parks or dog kennels, clubs, meeting ,and organizations. Places such as specialized dog cafes are enjoyable and wonderful locations loved by dogs and owners alike. It is preferable to let your dog acquaint with its fellow species unleashed, giving it the opportunity to introduce itself in authentic doggie manner without restraint. But of course, if it tends to be over-domineering or forceful, then off-leach socializing would not be a good option. It is also crucial to supervise the interactions as sometimes things could get out of hand.
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A dog that is sufficiently exposed will definitely be brainier. Exposure enables a dog to discover, understand, and explore the world to its greatest potential. Exposure takes on a diverse of levels; and the simplest one can be acquired at home or in the neighborhood.
Food, places, things,and experiences are boundless. Keep in mind that your pooch sees the world with its nose. Acquaint it with an array of food and tell it the names; just as long as it is nothing poisonous for dogs such as chocolate or raisins. Bring your dog with you as often as possible.Take it to the beach, for a hike, or any locations which are dog friendly. Plan adventures and outings that incorporate the entire family's interests, including your dog's. Vacationing together is a good way to expose it to many enriching environments, hence, spending quality time with it simultaneously.
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Lastly, the trick to staying smart and ahead is to learn constantly and endlessly; that way the mind will stay active, alert, and sharp, and will not stagnate. Learning is an infinite journey. A dog's learning capacity and swiftness is limited to its intelligence, but however high or low its IQ may be, it is still capable of learning. Good luck in grooming that four-legged pal of yours smarter!
First published on May 26, 2011
A useful online dog resource.