Having a dog is good for your health

having a dog is good for your health

Recently my sister-in-law, Corinne, had some heart problems: she had an irregular heart beat, so she went to her family doctor. As her husband had died half a year ago, the doctor thought this was one of the reasons of the symptoms… Stress and grieve!

Looking for solutions, the doctor also talked about having a pet: it is scientifically proved, he said, that with having a pet around people have less stress, they feel less lonely and find comfort with the pet.

As Corinne always had wanted a dog and her husband did not, she never had one. So, during her doctor’s visit she decided to get one! Her doctor – having two dogs himself – congratulated her with her decision and added that educating a dog would improve the bond with the animal. Even better to finish with the irregular heart beat!
In no time Corinne chose a wonderful 1,5 year old crossbreed from the shelter in her city, Becky:

Becky was brought to the shelter by the previous owner because she cried so loud when being alone at home! I had a lot of fun with learning my Cretan Boomer how to let him come to me on command, to let him sit and to lie down. It is great fun to teach your dog these tricks, but how can you stop a dog from crying, when being alone…?
Corinne phoned a bit around, to end up at a suitable dog training course. So, she and Becky have something to work hard on! But she is determined to make it work between her and Becky, so she is following this course, once a week at the moment. I will keep you informed!

To my surprise the first things in the course I did with Boomer, were to sit and to lie down, instead of Come here! What I needed the most.

If your dog can learn tricks, then he can learn obedience and good manners.’ is what they told me and I gladly will share it with the readers of Crete Gazette:

The best way to learn your dog tricks is to make it fun for your dog. Use small treats to reward in the beginning, later on it will be enough to praise him. Practice new tricks only a few minutes at a time. Ready?

The ‘sit’ is one of the most useful things you can teach your dog:

  • Stand facing your dog, holding a treat in front of his nose.
  • Move the treat up toward the top of his head, high enough that he can just barely reach it (if the dog lifts his front feet off the ground, you are holding the treat too high).
  • When your dog lifts his head and shoulders to get the treat, his bottom should go down.
  • As soon as your dog is in the sit position, praise him by saying pleased: ‘Sit. Good boy/girl, sit.’ Give him a treat.
  • If you need to, gently touch your dog’s back to make clear you want him to sit, but do not push hard.

Practice this many times. It may take 10 times before your dog understands! When you think he knows the word ‘Sit’, try it without the treat. If he doesn’t sit, don’t say anything. You can repeat the word once, but not too soon after the first time. Give ‘the penny the time to drop’ in his head. If it does not work yet, just try it with a treat again. Praise him whenever he does what he is supposed to do.

I wish you a lot of fun with practising!

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