Wow! You’ve done great! It’s the end of the first week already! I hope you and your dog have had a good experience with bringing him into the house.
Now, where can you go from here? You've got one more week in the challenge! Continue with what you've been doing with your dog every day and begin to expand on it. Here are some ideas for over the next week.
Remember to exercise your dog every day, as this will go a long way toward helping him be able to be calmer inside the house. Continue to extend the amount of time your dog is inside with you during the day as you feel able to handle the supervision and your dog learns how you want him to behave. Use the leash when you need to and let the leash drag when things are going well. Use gates to keep him in the same room with you for a while so you can intervene and stop behaviors you don’t like and can reward behaviors that you do like.
Use his meals to feed him in the food toys. You can buy many, like Kongs, or you can make them using empty bottles and containers. These will keep your dog occupied for part of the time he is in the house with you, and will also help to tire him out. Always make sure you have a bone and a few toys around for your dog to chew on. Dogs need to chew, so provide him with things that you want him to chew and he will learn to leave your things alone.
If you find that you need a short break from supervising, you can use the crate or your dog’s sleeping area so you know he will be safe and you don’t have to watch him as closely.
Begin to explore ways that your dog can stay inside for most of the day with you. If you work or are gone during the day, can your dog stay in the house while you’re gone? You may be able to hire a dog walker or a neighbor to give your dog a walk in the middle of the day. Leave your dog with lots of things to chew and play with. You can leave him his meals while you’re gone in his food toys. You can use gates to confine him to certain areas of the house that are dog-proofed and have easy to clean floors.
If your dog must be outside during the day while you’re gone, look into fencing your yard or at least fencing a pen or kennel for your dog. When your dog is within a fence, he can move around freely off the chain. He can have toys and bones left with him so he has things to occupy his time during the day while you’re gone. You may be able to build a fenced dog kennel so your dog has access to a garage for shelter and the fenced area for doing his business and playing.
You have made a lot of progress with helping your dog to have a more comfortable and enriched life by bringing him into the house with you! Thank you for letting me come along on this journey with you. Please continue to bring your dog into the house with you every day. His life, and yours, will be much enhanced by the relationship you will build together! I hope you will continue to visit my blog to learn more about how to give your dog a fuller, more enjoyable life!