As many of you know, I own a 1 year-old pure bred German Shepherd named Bomber. He is my big baby and has taught me so much about life since November 2015 when we brought him home. Here are some of the things he’s taught me:
1. A morning walk is the best way to start the day
I’ll be honest, if you are not the type of person that has the time to exercise your dog for at least an hour a day, don’t get a dog! We take Bomber for AT LEAST 2-45 minute walks a day, and the first one is always within a half hour of us getting out of bed. There is nothing better than some fresh air and easy exercise to jump start your day!
HOT TIP: It’s a great time to work on training when your dog is tired, so we do our major leash training when Bomber isn’t quite fully awake on the morning walk – the training aspects stick and he’s done his business and does not get overly hyper until later in the day.
2. Quality time together is best for everyone
Do you have a dog that has destroyed something while you’re away? With Bomber, he will only destroy something of ours if he is frustrated when we leave. If we only pop in and meave really quickly, he is guaranteed to wreck something out of spite. On the other hand, if we spend quality time with him and he’s nice and tired before we leave, he usually hasn’t done anything in the time that we’re gone. Dogs love their owners unconditionally, and Shepherds are very attached on their owners, it is completely understandable that they would be upset if we do not put time into the relationship.
It’s the same as human relationships, minus the couch getting torn. You need to put the time into the relationships with others for everyone to feel happy and secure.
3. It’s okay to be scared of something at first
If you’ve ever owned a dog, you know that sometimes they get freaked out by the most random things, and if you’ve ever owned a dog prone to anxiety (like a shepherd) the list can be baffling (tree stumps, recycling bins, lawn ornaments, leaves, etc). You may feel like the things you are afraid of may be weird (for example, I am afraid of bridges but not afraid of heights, which you’d think I would be both), but whatever makes you fearful is just fine!
4. But facing your fear and conquering it is even better
My dog used to be afraid of EVERYTHING that moves, he was constantly barking, whining, running and hiding from so many things. His life has gotten considerably easier since he started to face some of his fears and discovered them to be things he really enjoys now (like select other dogs, trees, tall people)!
One of my main goals in life is to conquer my fear of bridges, I put myself on bridges every chance I get! My anxiety in the matter is less debilitating than it used to be, but not by much, I’ll be perfectly honest.
5.Our quirks are what people love about us
Do you ever feel like you have a weird quality that annoys everyone? I know I sure do! Chances are though, there are people who love you for that exact quality! Some of the reasons I love my dog are his weird quirks, such as his well-timed burps when you are trying to tell him no, completely dissolving all of your anger in the situation! I love how he seems to think he has opposable thumbs and tries to catch things with his paws, and I love how he huffs and puffs arund the room when he won’t get his way! Our quirks are the reasons we stand out to the people who love us, and they wouldn’t change us for anything!
6. There is nothing wrong with an early bedtime
Bomber puts himself to bed every night around 9:30-10, he has always been the type of dog that goes to bed super early, and it has never been a bad thing. As a result, SO and I have started going to bed earlier (before 11) and we consistently get a full night’s sleep now, and wake up earlier and have more time as a family before we all take off for the day for work or other activities. Before Bomber, we were going to bed after midnight and were always rushing in the morning, but Bomber’s schedule is the base for our schedules now, and it’s worked for the better!
7. Boredom is the enemy
If you have ever had a dog, you know that a bored dog equals a destructive dog! You must keep moving and playing and interacting to ensure your dog does not get bored! I feel like people are the same way, if we are bored we eat excessive amounts of junk food, sit and watch tv all day or partake in other activities/habits that are not beneficial to us!
8. Sometimes you have to just sit and chill
On the other hand, sometimes we are too go, go, go! Dogs often have lazy days, whether it’s a growth spurt, bad sleep, weather related, etc – sometimes it’s nice to all lay around on the couch with your dog and have a recharge day! Just don’t forget your food and pee breaks!
9. Sometimes you just need a good cuddle.. But only sometimes
I am also 50/50 on touching, I don’t know why I am not fond of people touching me, but I’m not. Regardless, sometimes I just need a good cuddle or hug and I feel great afterwards!
10. You can’t beat the love of a dog
I want to hear about your dogs! Tell me all about them in the comments!
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