Cesar Milan’s popular show “The Dog Whisperer” teaches people how to be correct even the worst dog’s bad behavior. However, many don’t truly hear the deeper message that is being taught during the show. In order to be a responsible pet owner and give your pup the best life possible, you must first learn to balance your life and that of your dog’s.
Taking care of a dog is not a full-time job but needs to have structure and balance. But how to do this when you already have a plate full with work, family, social activities, and so on?
Simple: Pen your dog into your schedule.
Dogs need rules, schedules, boundaries or else their energy and boredom get the better of them. This is easy to see when a human parent goes back to work after a few years staying at home, new kids are thrown into the pack which take up more time, or the human parent just becomes lazy after a while of having the dog.
Why does my dog chew the furniture? Why does it go to the bathroom all over the house? Why has it become aggressive? Why? Why? Why?
The key here is that if you want a well behaved and happy dog, then you need to maintain a balance of work and dog. Dogs need long walks at least twice a day – with you in control of the walk and not the dog. They also need some play time at least once a day to be a dog and run free. Meals, play, walks and so on all need to be on schedule. Sure, you pup doesn’t wear a watch but it has a built in watch that never stops working.
To give an example of balance, here is our schedule for the Lab Brats:
5:30am – Long Walk
6:00am – Meal (their filled bowls are hidden in the house for them to find when they return from the walk)
7:00am – Settle down for a rest in the sun spots
11:00am – Playtime (30 minutes retrieving balls)
12:30pm – Snack time (small bit of kibble hidden in house)
1:00pm – Back to sun spots
4:00pm – Dinner
6:00pm – Long Walk
7:00pm – Playtime (weather permitting outside)
9:00pm – Bed
Keep in mind that I work from home at this time so this is my own weekday schedule with the dogs. My husband (who works outside the home) takes them for their walks and I do the rest. During the weekend, we go to the dog park on Saturday for at least an hour and Sunday is fun time at home (sometimes with their kiddie pool). Either way, we stick to the same feeding and walking schedule regardless of the day of week or the weather.
And you know what we got for it? Two very happy and well behaved Labrador Retrievers.
Balancing and keeping your pup to a schedule is the first step to building a healthy and happy life together.
How do you balance work, life and dogs?