It is truly incredible the way in which working dogs can help humans and in so many different ways. These days, dogs are helpful in all kinds of different areas, whether this is farming, service dogs, therapy dogs, hunting and retrieving dogs, security and protection, or search and rescue, just as a few examples of working dogs. Working dogs are not your regular dogs, though, so it is important that you know how to look after them and train them if they are both to excel in their role and enjoy a happy and healthy lifestyle. Read on for a few tips for looking after a working dog.
Start Training Early
The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is highly relevant when it comes to working dogs, and this is why you need to start training them from a young age. In addition to training them for their particular job, you also need to make sure that you train them as you would with a regular dog which will include socializing them, introducing them to new environments, and establishing a routine for them.
Ensure That They Get Enough Exercise
It is also important that your working dog gets enough exercise to increase their fitness, especially those that will need to run for their job. You need to avoid overexerting dogs, so you should always gradually increase the amount of exercise that they do and ensure that they get enough rest in between walks and exercise.
Ensure They Get Enough Mental Stimulation
Working dogs need to have high intelligence, so you need to make sure that they get enough mental stimulation from a young age. This will involve playing with them on a regular basis, mind puzzles, socializing with other dogs and people and nose work. Think of the brain like a muscle, which means that it needs consistent exercise but also enough time for rest and recovery.
Choose The Right Diet
Every dog needs a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet, but what this diet will consist of will depend on the work that they do. A therapy dog, for example, will not need the same diet that a search and rescue dog will require, so it is about finding out what is right for your particular dog and their job. These are the best options for your working dog according to Diamond Pet and should help you to make the right decision.
Build The Handler-Canine Bond
When it comes to working dogs, they need to have an incredibly strong bond with the handler, and communication is key here (both ways). This bond develops over time, but it can also be built through positive reinforcement training, spending quality time together, and clicker training.
These tips should help anyone to raise and train a working dog and help them to find success in their work as well as lead a healthy, happy, and enjoyable lifestyle. It is amazing the work that dogs can do, but this does not come easily, and you will need to put in the work yourself for them to succeed.