How to Raise a Companion Dog?


A companion dog will always be next to you, always wants contact and communication, does not run away, looks carefully into the eyes of the owner and catches every look. They are much closer to us than independent “hunters” in many respects, they are more in touch than no less attentive “servicemen”, they are open to the world and new people, but they are always close to the owner. For those looking to raise a companion dog, these tips will come in handy.

Is it really a companion?

The first step is to decide if you really want to raise your dog as a companion. Of course, this seems very nice from the outside, but think, would you personally be comfortable with such constant attention to the dog and its high need for your company and contact with you? Are you ready to actively interact with your pet for several hours a day, or would you prefer a more detached relationship? Do you need to get a companion dog at all?  Think well before answering, because this is all in the end not for one year, but for ten years of yours and his whole life. A dog raised as a companion will suffer if you pay little attention to it. So - is it still a companion or not?

If your answer is still yes, then move on.

Breed selection

Not all breeds can be brought up as a companion dog. For example, husky dogs that are very independent due to their natural characteristics are not suitable for this exactly, like Caucasians - they, who spend most of their free time with you, can be inconvenient, and the protective instincts in such a dog can work without special training. It can turn out badly.

And who is right? In addition to the ninth FCI group (international classification of all breeds), which is called companions or indoor decorative dogs, Labrador retrievers and Golden Retrievers are traditionally considered companion dogs. In addition, good companions can be obtained from modern lines of German Shepherds, and from Bernese Sennehund, from collies ... there was no sign and they themselves do not require constant complex care. Having chosen the breed and puppy from the litter you like, you can start training the dog.

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Raising a companion dog

The upbringing of your future companion will begin from the first days of the appearance of the puppy in the house, and it will be better if he comes to you at the age of one month, immediately after registration (examination of the puppy by a specialist veterinarian).

Companion Dogs Photos As soon as a puppy appears in the house, you should spend as much time with him as possible, but this is not the only point. A companion is a dog that is always ready to help and is busy with you. The older the puppy gets, the more your joint hours should be filled not only with play, but also with work. The dog can bring sticks, slippers, do something else. The more you engage the dog, teach it and achieve the fulfillment of what has been taught, the closer your connection with it.

It is normal for companions, as opposed to service books, to sleep with the owner. Of course, we are talking about a dog without pronounced dominant aggression, but you cannot grow a companion out of such a companion... And if the puppy is chosen correctly, then nothing critical in behavior will happen from sleeping in your bed. But it is important to observe the order of feeding - first you eat, then the dog. But during your own meal, you can give your dog some treats or a bite of your food that is harmless to the dog. Such actions close the distance between you, putting you closer to each other. Again, this is not acceptable when working with dominant dogs or dogs that are to become service dogs, and this is often written about, but raising a companion is another story.

When your puppy starts to walk - go to different places as much as possible! Your future companion should not get used to the route of the walk, but to the fact that you can go anywhere, but wherever you go - you will always be together! Sometimes it may be necessary to give a rest to the dog, to water it - gradually endurance and readiness for walking will grow. Before you have time to look around, a one and a half or two year old dog will already be waiting for you, politely hurrying - let's go, but don't run far away without you.

When walking, do not forget to get the puppy to follow the appropriate command as long as possible. Gradually, the dog will get used to it and will walk like that even without a command. It is important - when preparing a companion dog, you need to work exclusively on positive reinforcement and the clicker method (training with the help of sound reinforcement). The more you use negative reinforcement, the worse the contact between you will be. Of course, sometimes this cannot be avoided (a strict prohibition to run out onto the road, for example), but such cases must be minimized, and the main work in teams must be done on the floor.