Dog Behavior – The Five Fundamental Elements of a Contented Definition of Contentedness

contented definition

The Contented Definition was created by the retired neurosurgeon, Robert McKenzie. His book “The Meaning of Sleep: A Neurobiological Approach to a Healthy Aging Dog” was the first to apply behaviorist concepts and study the relationship between sleep and behavior in dogs. In his book, Mr. McKenzie outlines three core components that define canine behavior and helps dog owners understand how their dog sleeps. These three components are:

Physical Environment – Contented Definition

A tall building in a city

A clean, comfortable, and secure physical environment are essential for your dog’s well-being. Dogs do not thrive or perform at their highest levels if their environment is cluttered, dirty, cold, or damp. Make sure to give your pet a bed of some kind. If your dog stays primarily outdoors, then consider giving him or her shelter inside the house, as long as it is protected from the elements.

Behavioral Environment

A person holding a flower

The space you create for your dog must be his haven. It must offer the freedom to explore and play, with clean waste elimination and opportunities for exercise and entertainment. Provide toys and games that foster these behaviors. Your pet’s behavior will improve dramatically.

Stimulating Stimulation

Make sure you engage your dog in an activity that engages both him and her. This will give them ample opportunity to socialize. Dogs learn best through interaction and socialization. This will also keep them physically fit. Walk them, play with them, let them run loose, and allow them to fetch.

Environmental Interventions

There are times when the best intervention strategy is just to intervene. Sometimes you can actually facilitate the natural process of housetraining by simply stepping in and helping. This includes things like getting them their favorite toy or removing certain environmental factors that create stress. This is sometimes the most effective intervention approach because it does not require punishment.


Many people who work with pets are advocates for therapeutic dog care. Therapeutic dog care relieves emotional distress, improves coordination, and enhances the dog’s overall health and well-being. Therapy dog care is also beneficial for dogs with behavioral issues. These issues are usually caused by fear or anxiety. Therapy dogs relieve the dogs of these feelings and teach them how to overcome their fears.

Natural Herbal Remedies

Providing your dog with a safe and gentle herbal remedy has long been known to be an effective alternative to harsh medication. Herbs like St. John’s Wort, German chamomile, and Valerian are safe for use in small amounts under the guidance of a veterinarian. If you suspect your dog may have a chemical sensitivity, it’s best to avoid these chemicals altogether and provide your dog with a gentle herbal remedy instead.

The above overview is a quick snapshot of the definition and concept of the contented definition. As you continue to read on, we will go into greater detail about each of the components. When you’ve finished reading this brief article, you should be better prepared to define, recognize, and understand the meaning of the contented definition. With this information, you will be better equipped to start providing quality companionship for your dog.

Dogs As Pets

Being a best friend to your dog is important, and this definition includes both your dog and your relationship with him. Some people consider dogs to be a form of the child. While this may be close, it’s still considered a toy. Dogs are capable of affection, however, and they may respond to your touch.

Obedience Training

This component requires a good deal of time, patience, and commitment. Many people love to train their dogs, and it’s one of the best ways to show your pet the boundaries that he should not go past. However, some dogs are wild animals, and it can be difficult to train for this reason. Others may be more well-adjusted but may lack training focus. You may have to experiment a bit to find out what’s right for your particular dog.


This refers to being able to watch your dog closely without harming him. You should be able to identify negative behaviors as well as positive ones. If you suspect your dog has a problem with aggression, then you should avoid playing with him or letting him go near other dogs when he’s angry. You should also try to observe his surroundings and his behavior for signs that may point to trouble.

Bottom Line

If you are trying to train your dog, it’s important to follow the contented definition. The definition provides clear guidelines, so you know exactly what behavior you should expect from your pet. It provides you with the tools to determine what behavior is appropriate and what is not. It helps you reward good behavior and to take action when negative behavior occurs, in addition to helping you understand your dog’s temperament so that you can make the necessary adjustments when necessary.

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