Ditch 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 lead and then walk around the house with it, then put it away.
Really the possibilities are endless when it comes to ditching the routine.
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