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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Bring Your Dog Inside – Day 6

The routine is mostly the same today.  You and your dog should now be beginning to fall into a routine and a way of doing things that is becoming smoother for you both.  Remember that exercise!  That’s super important so your dog will be able to stay calmer in the house with you.  Find an hour of time for your dog to spend with you in the house, on leash still, with you rewarding behavior you like. 
If you find your dog is acting calmly and in ways that you like, you can begin to drop the leash instead of holding it for the entire hour.  Use gates or barriers to keep him in the same room as you, so you can still supervise him and reward good behavior.  And if he starts to do something you don’t want him to do, calmly pick up the leash and move him away from the area.  Once he starts to do something you like better, reward him. 
Tonight you will feed your dog one of his meals in the house.  Measure out the amount of dry food your dog normally eats at one meal and pour it into the empty milk or soda bottle you saved from yesterday.  Leave the lid off, so the kibble can fall out of the top opening of the bottle.  Now, give this toy to your dog.  Help him see how to push the bottle around to make the food fall out a few pieces at a time.  This is a great toy to keep your dog busy so he’s not pestering you, and it will help to tire out his mind so he can be calmer in the house.  If he crushes the bottle while he plays, it’s no big deal.  The food will still fall out, and you can replace the bottle with another one a different day. 
You can do this during the hour your dog is already in the house, or in addition to it.  Letting your dog play with a food toy every day is a great way to stimulate his brain and keep him busy.  There are many types of food toys and puzzles for sale in pet stores and online, but using empty bottles is a cheap and fun way to keep your dog entertained.


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