Share it

Monday, January 16, 2012

Inside Looking Out

As a trainer I often get calls from people with dogs that seem to have behavior problems.  At some time discussing these behaviors I ask the owners what they do with the dog as far as exercise.  Much to my dismay I find responses something in the way of, “Well I’m really busy, I don’t have much time to do things with him.”  One day I start looking at the dogs’ prospective from the inside out.  Have you ever really looked at your dogs’ world from his angle?  I’ve often wondered about it until I read a book by Merrill Markoe called, WHAT THE DOGS HAVE TAUGHT ME.  The Dog Diaries chapter had me rolling as she followed her dogs around one afternoon.  It also inspired me to look at my dogs’ world from the inside out.  Yes, through the writings of Merrill I have found myself rolling on a bug with my Chihuahua mix Pitiful Pearle. Interesting as she loved the fact I was taking pleasure in her kill, weird as I was hoping none of the neighbors could see me.  Today all four of my dogs have a new respect for me since I’ve had the freshly killed bug scent on my back.


Some dogs live life alone, in a yard with minimal interaction from their owners. The owners have the dogs for various reasons, but don't understand that dogs need more than a yard and some food. They need affection, company, and exercise to be happy both physically and mentally.

Dogs with a monotonous day often find things to entertain themselves.  Eating things in the house, chewing the tree, getting in the trash are all things that dogs do when they don’t have guidance and plenty of stimulating exercise.  These dogs are bored and are looking to something, anything to add stimuli to his day.  He is not a bad dog, he is a seeking an outlook to boredom.

Speaking as a trainer I hate to say it but, training can be boring!!  Sit, down, stay, bla, bla, bla…COME!   I see boring training take place all the time.  Dogs need to be socialized, experience different things, new sights, smells and even textures.  Have fun in training.  I know TABOO!  But training can be both stimulating and fun.  Sit stay on rocks; heal on benches, bleachers or logs.  Stay on a bridge over stinky, noisy water, or in front of a grocery store with carts and people with great smelling things in bags.  Now we are talking!  This type of training is not only stimulating but it is fun and exhausting for both dog and owner. Get out, half an hour or more each day!  Have fun exploring, sights, smells and sounds with your dog.  You will enjoy finding challenging places for your dog to sit, down or stand on just as much as he will enjoy working in different places.  Many neighborhoods have this in walking distance.  Make it fun for both of you, and you will enjoy your outing.  Change it up and most of all have fun. 
  •  Sit or a down on a rock can be a challenge.  This was taken about a block from this dog's home. 
 Sit and watch a childrens football practice is very stimulating.  Found this place within a 1/2 mile from the pet owner's home.
 
Walking on the bleachers was a little stressful for this young dog. She had a hard time balancing on the first bleacher row. It took her a few times to walk it without needing help.
So....we lightened things up with some play ground equipment.  Be creative, have fun, and challenge your dog with your surroundings and you will have a well rounded, well socialize and most important 

No comments:

Post a Comment