In my first class in puppy school the very first thing I talk to people about is the importance of spending time with their dogs.
I suggest to new owners that they take 5-10 minutes out of their day to sit on the floor with their dogs and just chill. Chat away about anything in a nice calm voice whilst stroking, massaging or rubbing their dogs in a gentle manner. No distractions for the dogs or owners,
just one on one time.
Sounds mad? I often get that reaction but in today’s busy world people with dogs rarely ‘switch off’ – I often see people walking their dogs whilst on their cell phones the whole time and not connecting with the dog at all.
Doing this ‘switching off’ for ten minutes a day is so valuable to both dog and owner. It starts the beautiful bond between them and what follows is something that you can’t teach. The bond allows the dogs to relax when situations may be stressful, like a visit to the vet as they trust their owner more. They listen more attentively to commands in training class and are eager to please. They then pick up on their owners feelings more and for us it is nice to have
the unwavering love of a dog to lean on when we have a bad day.
To me the phrase of ‘A dog is man’s best friend’ couldn’t be more true. I have four dogs and I have done the one on one time with each of them from when they were puppies and I have a wonderful and individual relationship with each dog. They each look to me and not one another for direction and our bond is strong.
Time is free. Finding it is hard but possible. Try this simple daily 10 minute time out with your dog and see if you notice any positive changes.