How often do you play with your dog?
Is play part of your routine together, or something that gets sidelined depending on your mood and motivation after a hard day? Do you prioritise training or physical exercise over games with your dog? Perhaps now’s the time to think again!
There’s little doubt that most of us could do more of it – dog training that is!
Trying to juggle training your dog with the rest of daily life can be quite a task, especially in a busy household where there are literally hundreds of other factors competing for your attention. Bearing in mind that even fellow professionals complain to me that they don’t have enough time to train their own dogs, it’s little wonder that practising a sit stay is often way down the list of priorities for the average owner.
So, with the practicalities of daily routines firmly in mind, how can we ensure that we do give our dogs the share of our time and energies that they need?
Puppies should be bright, bouncy and into everything. They should be filled with natural curiosity and sociability. They should be friendly and have the confidence to approach and be handled. I have just returned from seeing a puppy as a behaviour case which was anything but – and it nearly broke my heart.
This 14-week-old nervous puppy was so fearful of life in general that she was completely withdrawn, curling up in one corner of the kitchen and hiding her face under her tail – completely immobile – simply because there was a stranger in her house. This little puppy had taken three weeks to even cope with the presence of her devoted owners – and still wouldn’t eat in front of them.