Monday, May 3, 2010

Is Your Dog Running Your Life?

By Laura Sharkey

Let’s talk about schedules. Is your dog on YOUR schedule or are you on your DOGS schedule?

It is an important question and something you really want to consider when your dog is a puppy. Of course, when you first bring a puppy home, everything MUST revolve around the dog in order to teach the pup the essential rules of the road. Don’t pee in here, don’t bark at me, sleep in your crate. House training especially demands that you pay very very close attention to your pups schedule. I routinely tell new puppy owners to take their puppy outside every one to two hours. That is definitely not the preferred schedule, but essential to fast and effective house training.

But what about after the initial training phase, like when the dog is 4 to 6 months old? That is when you need to start training your dog to function on YOUR schedule. I once had a client who was getting up in the middle of the night, every night, because she believed her dog needed water. At 2 AM. I know people who rush home from parties or dinner out because it’s the dogs dinner time. Now I do admire their dedication to their dog, but in my opinion, that’s a bit extreme.