Did you get a new puppy or dog during Christmas? Well, just over a month has passed, the kids are back at school and the "honeymoon" period has finished. The kids are not as interested as they were and are being chased around the house or you are losing socks at an alarming rate.
But don't despair, because we have some great ideas for your new dog. When you're at home all day a dog is generally not a problem because it follows you around and gets tired during the day. If you work during the day then you have to come home to a dog that has slept all day and wants only to jump all over you. The only thing you want to do is lie down with a glass of wine!
So in this series we will be growing with your dog at the same time. If you have an older rescue dog or a puppy, the time frame will all be the same. If you have slackened off any training in the past five ears then this is also for you.
First issue: Coming Home If you work during the day then most likely your dog will sleep during the day. This is all well and good but often you'll find when you come home that your dog has endless energy. This is important to remember because even if the dog jumping out of its fur, it's only because it loves you. And if you've had a bad day at work, try not to bring it home and take it out on your dog. First step is to settle your dog into a routine when you walk in the door. Many people say ignore the dog for five minutes, but I find that the dogs still jump. So have a small container of treats in your letterbox. When you arrive home, grab one of the treats and crack open the door where your dog is going to greet you. Show the dog your lovely treat and get the dog to sit; just keep repeating until it finally does it. Once it's sitting, start to open the door and only open it all the way when your dog is fully sitting. Expect your dog's behind to be moving back and forth, but give them the treat.
What you have done is set about starting a new routine, in which when you come home your dog will sit. It may take a little while but you'll get there. The main thing is patience; if the phone is ringing, just ignore it. If you do this for a couple of weeks your dog will start to follow the routine automatically - and you will have set up a new habit.
In the next issue we look at leaving the house with a dog that thinks they are a pulling horse!
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