dog training, dog behavior, dog health

A Dog's Schedule - Time for Play

As you get to know your new dog, you may notice he has a specific schedule for his days.  He will arrange his activities around your own time frames if you live on a fairly regular schedule yourself.   Your pet is very adaptable and will respond well to a semi regular schedule for his daily activities.

Though your pet will usually be willing to play at any time, it's likely there are a couple periods during the day when he will actively seek playtime with you or with his own toys.  For many dogs, early morning and late afternoon bring high energy and a play session with be fun for you both.  Fetching a ball or a run instead of a leisurely walk will burn off the energy and provide needed exercise for you both.

Most canines have a clearly defined schedule of activity.  They respond to their own physical needs much better than we humans do.  When they are full of energy, they play and run.  The moment they are tired, they take a nap.  When they are curious, they immediately investigate.  Finding the scent of another animal outside, they will mark their territory.

Your dog will have a specific place in each room of your home the will lay down.  For those of us who work at home the preferred spot in our home office is often too close to the wheels of our desk chair.  Allowing pets on furniture is the owner's choice - but I've found even the best trained "off the couch" dog is likely utilizing the furniture in the owner's absence.  Providing comfortable pet beds may alleviate this problem.  Pets like comfort just as their people do.

Just as a baby is, a canine is lively and happy just after a poop.  He will run in circles, play with toys like crazy, wear himself out and then curl up for a quick nap.  Point is, dogs have predictable schedules and to socialize and to train them, the easiest way is to adjust to their normal schedule.  Trying to teach a dog who is sleepy or a dog who just wants to run and play with wild abandon will not yield the results you want.

Watch and learn what your own pet's normal schedule is.  Use it to your advantage by finding the times he is most receptive to learning new commands and behavior.  Finding fifteen minutes and having a training session when your pooch is paying attention to you is much easier on you both.  During the play period you can reinforce some training commands as you make your animal heel or sit before throwing a ball, teach him to "drop" or "release".  Just remember to keep playtime fun and free of conflict.