Why Kenneling Your Difficult Dog May Help Them
Owning a difficult dog is, well, difficult. There are all types of dog behavioral difficulties that dog owners face such as depression, over-excitedness, barking, territorialism, aggression, anti-socialism, separation anxiety, and much more.
Regardless of which behavioral issue your dog has, you still love them immensely. This is why it can be extremely difficult when debating whether to kennel your dog. The truth, however, is that kenneling your dog may actually help to improve their behavior.
One of the first and major ways that kenneling your difficult dog with their behavioral issues is the increase in exercise. Oh, but you give your dog daily walks, you say? Unfortunately, unless you take your dog for a long run or hike, there really is no perfect substitute for all-out doggy playtime. If you’ve never witnessed a mob of dogs chasing each other, you are in for an overwhelming treat.
When dogs play together it provides your dog with an immense amount of exercise. It helps them get all of their anxiousness out and allows them to behave like a dog for a change. So how does this help your difficult dog’s behavior?
One the main sources of bad or unwanted behavior is due to a lack of exercise. Dogs have a lot of energy and if they are not exercised enough, they will release that pent up energy in other ways like barking, chewing, biting, and aggression. Kenneling your dog allows your dog to release some of that energy which could be causing him or her to behave badly.
Another benefit is due to socialization. The reality is that most dogs are under-socialized or poorly socialized. If you own a larger breed such as a German Shepherd, Boxer, Pitbull, or a similar larger sized, typically aggressive breed, you may notice owners of smaller dogs tend to tense up when your or avoid you altogether. While they most certainly have the right to avoid whomever they want, it is in their best interest to bring their dog to you.
The same holds true in reverse and in all situations. If your dog isn’t quite behaved around other dogs there are very clear reasons for that. Owners often give the excuse that their dog is a rescue and must have been hurt earlier in their lives. While this can be true, the owner is only hurting their dog’s chance to return to normalcy by avoiding other dogs. Essentially, they are teaching their dog that they should not go near other dogs and protect the home when other dogs approach.
The main reasons that some dogs don’t like others is due to a lack of exercise, so they have pent up energy, or they have not been socialized throughout their lives.
Kenneling your dog is a great way to socialize them in a controlled environment. Dog parks are great for socialization too but it is often hard for dog owners to trust that other dog owners have done their job when it comes to training. While at a kennel, you can be sure that your dog will be supervised by multiple trained handlers. This way your dog can get used to being around other dogs.
Barking is often a result of lack of exercise and lack of stimulation. You, as a human being, are stimulated like crazy throughout the day and therefore have developed an almost immunity to it. You are so used to the lights, sounds, colors, and random occurrences that nothing really makes you second guess it.
For dogs, this is a totally different story. Puppies have no clue what doorbells are, why dog noises could be coming from your TV speakers, or why there are thundering noises when it rains. These are all forms of stimuli that they will get used to as they get older. However, they don’t happen often enough which is a cause for barking.
If the doorbell rings, your dog wants to address the situation. They may bark or howl after it goes off. The same thing happens if a neighbor is passing by while taking their dog for a walk.
Kenneling your dog helps to put them in an incredibly stimulating environment. There are employees walking in and out as well as customers. They see new faces and hear different sounds daily. They also are witness to an incredible amount of dogs and their noises. So they can become accustom to the barking, howling, passing by, and any other form of distraction. Just like you, this exposure to increased stimuli actually makes it less stimulating for them. They become immune to it as well. They are used to a particular noise or even a random noise and therefore have no reason to bark at it.
Introduction to New Places
Kenneling your dog is also a way to help with their difficult behaviors because it places them in a completely new environment. They are not in the comfort of their own domain and are not longer the alpha dog. By the way, if your dog is an alpha dog, there are ways to train him or her so that they see you as the alpha.
Dogs are creatures of habit and routine however they should also be comfortable if a change occurs. Introducing them to new places helps to remove them from their comfort level and introduce them to change.
Leaving them in a new place also can help with separation anxiety. Dogs can become aggressive and hostile when separated from their owners. However, they need to understand that the separation is only temporary. Kenneling your dog can be of help when it comes to creating a temporary separation.
About the author:
Andrew Fujii is a marketing professional with expertise in digital/web and content marketing. He is also a copywriter for multiple agencies producing copy for blogs, articles, websites, product packaging, mobile apps, and more.
Originally published at missmillmag.com on March 20, 2015.