I often times start out a lesson listening to all of the things a dog does that the parents don’t appreciate. “How can I get my dog to stop digging, barking, shredding my house, etc.”? The long and short answer is…EXERCISE… Yep it’s kind of that simple… Although, it’s really not that simple in this day and age. We are all to often go, go, go in our lives and find ourselves too exhausted to throw a ball or go on a run. Dogs need mental and physical exercise to stay sane. They crave companionship and yes, get super excited to see us come back to them after a long day at work. So what can you do to keep you and your dog sane and happy? Find ways to keep them busy that fit your lifestyle… Here is a list of things you could possibly do to enrich the lives of your dogs:
Hire a dog walker
Teach them a trick
Give them safe bones to chew on
Leave work early just for your dog
Find interactive toys that dispense treats
Hide treats around the yard and/or house
Go home on lunch and take a walk with them
Take your dog to daycare on your longer days
Do a training session focusing on obedience and calm behavior
Teach your dog to fetch and play while on the computer or better yet outside
Take a training class with them for fun one-on-one time with no interruptions
This is just a small list of fun things to keep your dog happy and tired. It really is all about carving out a few minutes of your time daily to spend bonding with your dog. It should be a stress reliever to interact with one of the few animals in the world that will play for their entire life.
Some of my favorite sessions during the week are those where people want to teach their dog something new with me coaching them. I love to see the relationship between humans and dogs change for the better over time. So many times I look at them as a team six months or a year later and think, “I wish I would have had a camera crew to document our first session. There is such a difference in the teamwork. This has really developed into an amazing friendship and it could have so easily have been a colossal mess for both the two and four-legged animals involved”.
My professional advice to you today is to set aside just a few minutes of your day to play with your four-legged family member and over time watch them become a loving and happy member of your family.
Carrie Galvan CPDT
Precious K9s Training and Behavior
A quick training session with Achilles.
Working on leaving treats while he lays down.