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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bring Your Dog Inside - Day 1

Provide your dog with some exercise off his chain today.  He needs some form of active exercise off the chain.  Exercise time should be enjoyable for you too, so think of things you enjoy doing.  How can you include your dog in that time?  Dogs enjoy hiking and walking.  If it’s warm outside, many enjoy swimming.  Dogs can learn to run next to you while you jog or ride a bicycle.  Or you may find that just taking your dog to the park to run and chase a ball or Frisbee brings you just as much enjoyment as it brings him. 
Dogs are social animals and your dog will enjoy having you spend time with him.  Just spending some time with you will reduce his stress levels and help him to become calmer.  The physical exercise will tire his body and his mind, while also reducing stress, and that, too, will help him to become calmer.
Prepare for tomorrow’s activity.  Tomorrow you will bring your dog into the house to sleep overnight.  Decide where you want your dog to sleep in the house.  Dogs prefer to sleep in the same room with us.  They are used to living in a group, so being with you is calming for them.  Also, by letting a dog sleep near you, he is seeing you sleeping and being calm, so he is more likely to also be calm and sleep.  You can put the crate in your bedroom if you don’t trust your dog loose in the room at night.  Put a blanket in the crate, but one that you don’t care if it gets a little bit chewed. 
You can use a gate or barrier to block the dog in the bathroom, kitchen or other easy to clean room overnight.  But your dog may bark and whine if he cannot see or hear you.  A radio playing soft classical music may help him to settle down and not feel so alone. 
If you can have a big bone and a toy or two for your dog to have in the house, that will be helpful for keeping him occupied, and he will do less barking and whining overnight. 
Wherever you decide to have your dog sleep, gather the supplies, set up the crate, and have everything ready for tomorrow so you don’t have to rush around at the last minute.  Having your dog sleep inside with you is an important first step in teaching him to be calm in the house.  By bringing him in overnight first, at a time when he would normally be calm and sleeping, you can begin right from the start instilling the good habit of being calm in the house. 


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