Ryda here again.
For those who don't know, I'm Zigrid's K9 buddy. Us K9s are just like you. We have basic needs of food, water and shelter but what some of our K9 parents don't think about is our emotional needs of safety, maintaining mind and body, and to have social contact. When our parents meet our emotional needs, training us is a whole lot easier! I'm sure Zig would agree.
Woof! Just like you, all dogs including myself want to feel safe and secure in our homes. We don't just need our human buddies for food, water and shelter but also for support and guidance for us to be happy and healthy both mentally, emotionally and physically. When Zig shows me calm, clear communication and consistent guidance, I am more clear on the rules and boundaries in the house. This sure does make for a happier and less stressful home environment!
My tail is wagging when I am my most happiest! And this is when both my mind and body are used. Just like you, with nothing to do all day long, I can get SO bored! And possibly even a bit depressed. Us dogs are sorry when we chew on your new outdoor setting! We promise! But we sometimes end up doing this because our mind isn't busy on a job. What you K9 parents can do to help us is to optimize our home environment. I'd suggest food dispensing interactive toys (treat balls and Kong's rather than a dog bowl - these are so much more exciting and stimulating!). These are especially great when you leave us for longer periods of time by ourselves.
We also love to run and wag our happy little tails! I love to keep my body moving and my muscles active. Plus, if I am tired I am usually more well behaved! I love going for walks (once a day please! and I love different routes with new and exciting smells). I need the correct walking equipment but also LOVE the opportunity to free-run in locations such as the beach and dog off-leash areas. I need the opportunity to free run 3 to 4 times a week. This gives me the opportunity to use any excess energy, explore and just be a dog!
My last emotional need is to have social contact (if I'm a sociable dog) with both other dogs and humans! It helps my health and emotional well being. Although Zig and Darcy are wonderful company, I don't mind spending time around other dogs too! I'm well mannered but personally, I don't particularly care for playing with them. By being around other dogs at times, it helps me to keep up my social etiquette. I also love to meet other humans and helps me develop good social skills with people, exposing me to a variety of different people and environments. How exciting for me! Please please please make sure that we are feeling comfortable in the social setting though!
When each of our emotional needs are met, I am a happy, healthy and well balanced boy! I am way less likely to dig, bark, chew, be anxious or stress which makes Zig's job as a K9 parent much easier!
Well, that's all from me. Have a paw-some day!