Whoever or wherever you are, newcomer or follower, welcome to this Blog for Dogs. This seems the time to set up one during this enforced confinement to help anyone struggling out there with their pet and in need of some enlightenment as to how to train, engage in play, generally relieve boredom, frustration, and worry that both you and your pet may be experiencing.
Yes, I said worry. Do pets worry? Big time. They watch us as we take on more and more stress and they become stressed themselves. The greatest stress that dogs experience is living with us.
Even so your dog must be really pleased you’re at home. He doesn’t understand that you may be worrying about your finances, the virus, family members, etc. He’s just happy to know his carer is there right in front of him.
So indulge him. But use the time with him as quality time. Get out in the fresh air. Go for a walk, play ball. A brisk walk is better than anything. So instead of watching your clock because you’ve to dash to work, you can extend the time on his walk. He’ll love it.
If he likes to play ball, then indulge him. However, only do it for between five to ten minutes. Any more, and he just gets wired up and takes the ball away to chew or hide it. If he won’t return the ball, you can train him. If, like my own dog, you have a dog wired to playing ball, have two balls. Throw one and ask him to come back to you. If he refuses or dances around you at a distance, show him the second ball. Bounce ball (2) on the ground to get his attention. Then offer it to him while holding out your other hand to take ball (1). I hold my hand right under Juno’s chin and say, ‘Give’. When she releases ball (1), I reinforce it with a ‘Yes’ or ‘Good’ and I throw ball (2) for her.
After a while, you should just be able to hold out your hand and say, ‘Give’ and ‘Good’ without using ball (2). This method can then be used for all items that you want from your dog.
And, finally, if stress is overwhelming you, trying sitting comfortably and stroke your dog mindfully. Not just patting him but concentrating on what you are doing. Stroking your pet relieves pressure. That’s why dogs visit Nursing homes so they can help the elderly.
And here’s something else you can do. Try this TTouch action on your dog. The Tellington Touch method can calm your pet but it also has the same effect on you.
Sit by your dog and lay his ear flat on the palm of your hand. With your thumb, gently and mindfully stroke his ear in straight lines from his head down to the edges. All the Acupressure points are around the edges of the ear so it’s really beneficial for him. This Touch is also extremely helpful for nervous dogs. (See slideshow below.)