Ditching the Routine by Kelly Murrell
Here’s the thing; predictability, another word for routine, can grow; pessimism, anxiety, stress and over-excitement in our dogs.
We don’t want that in our dogs, right?!
From the get go, dogs want to naturally figure out predictors of events in their lives. Whether the prediction is for a positive event or negative event, it is exhausting for your dog to be constantly seeking out prediction.
So, if possible mix things up, don’t have a rigid set routine. Grow more flexibility into your dog’s life and they will find day to day living easier to deal with.
Here are some tips of how to start:
- Take your dog to different walking locations, don’t always visit the same places. Vary the type of walk; off lead/on lead, short walk, sniffy walk, longer walk, etc.
- Ditch the walk entirely and play games in your home!
- Mix it up with your dog’s food; sometimes enjoy a fun games session with their food, sometimes use their food for puzzles feeders, scatter feeding, enrichment etc.
- Vary the type of games/training sessions you enjoy! It’s very easy to focus on the fast paced and fun games, don’t forget calming games like slow feeding on a boundary are just as (if not more for some dogs!) important.
- Pick up your keys, then put them back and go and sit down
- Take your dog for a car journey which leads to them coming home again, or take them along when you pick up the kids from school, or run errands. Journey’s to no-where help with the predictor of going in the car doesn’t always lead to a fun walk!
- Put your walking shoes and coat on, and then hang out in the house!
- Pick up your dog’s leash and then walk around the house with it, then put it away.