Get off to a great start in 2014!

Reader Millie V. wrote to me lately:  “my Morkie has plenty of family around during the day, is fed top grade food, groomed and given plenty of attention.  Yet she’s often what I would call spoiled – yappy, aggressive and trying to be dominate.  I’ll be watching TV and she comes and stands on my chest to block my view.  What more does this dog want??!!”

What do Morkies – and all dogs — need? The basics are of course water, good food and exercise.  That third one — exercise — is often downplayed for small dogs like Morkies, yet it’s key to a happy, healthy dog. In Millie V.’s case, she tried a regular walking program with her Morkie and it’s made the world of difference,

As dog trainer Cesar Millan says:

A tired dog is a good dog.barking maltese

Dogs, no matter the size, have energy to burn off every day.  If you don’t have a regular regime for walking – typically 15 or 20 minutes in the morning and the same in the evening – then you can start to encounter both physical and behavioral problems with your Morkie.

Physically…

  • un-exercised Morkies are often obese, which shortens their lifespan. Period.
  • unexercised dogs don’t develop a well-toned, strong body, equipped to fight off infection and injury

Behavior-wise….

  • an unexercised Morkie has too much energy to burn off, so he will find the next best thing to a walk: chewing up your best shoes, running up and down barking madly, and other annoying behaviour
  • an unexercised dog begins to exhibit what experts call Small Dog Syndrome – the rest of us call it a spoiled, pain-in-the butt dog

Small Dog Syndrome is a group of behaviours that the dog owner herself is responsible for – excessive barking, jumping up, humping your leg, growling, dominating you, disobeying even simple commands, whining, begging at the table and more.

If a large dog acted this way, you’d put a quick stop to it with some appropriate discipline and exercise. But if seems like a Morkie can get away with murder.

When we tend to look the other way or think that our little angel is being cute, we’re not doing the dog any favour.  Resentment builds up — as reader Millie V. wrote.  Eventually it could be enough to make you consider getting rid of  your dog.

go for a walkThe solution is so simple:  WALKS!

So make the resoulution for 2014: start with a morning walk every day – 7 days a week. Even 15 minutes is great.  Keep the pace brisk, no sniffing every bush and telephone poll along the way.  After a week or two, add the second evening walk.

I promise, you’ll be amazed at the improvements in your Morkie’s behaviour and attitude.

Happy New Year!

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