Patience is a Virtue! Two Minutes a Day to Creating a Patient Pup
Creating a patient pooch is important both for the relationship you have with your dog and your dog's own safety.
Unless instructed, your dog will act like....well, a dog. Acting impulsively, he will jump up for the things he wants, bark when he is frustrated, and run after anything that appeals to him. This is NORMAL dog behavior.
Since we expect a refined furry companion for domesticated living, it is our job to teach our dog exactly what we expect from them in routine daily interactions and situations.
Developing patience in your dog, like any other skill, takes a bit of pratice. With the tiniest effort on your part however (literally just a couple minutes each day), you will see dramatic behavior changes in your pup. Practiced consistently , these skills will begin trickling over into all facets of your pup's life. You will have developed a well-behaved and patient dog who offers routine calm behavior.
Offering a "sit," is a great way for your dog to say, "please" or express to you that he or she wants something.
I imagine that your dog, like most dogs, would like access to some (if not all) of the following:
1. Attention and Petting (a greeting when you come home from work or maybe a seat in your warm lap)
2. A Favorite Toy
3. Food (whether it's in a dish, stuffed in a toy, or a tasty treat from your hand)
4. Access to his/her friends (at the dog run, on the street)
5. Access to the great outdoors (whether on leash or off leash in your yard)
As loving owners, we tend to give our dogs everything for "free." Instead, ALL of the items above should be used as rewards in your dog's life. You need to work for the things you want in life, right? Well, it's time to get your pup working too! Your dog may have any of the above items, but first he must do something...like sit. Once your dog sits (or says "please!") you may give him what he wants.
To begin, your pup might need some "think time." If he has never been required to say "please" for the above items, it will take a little time before he starts to understand the new rules. BE PATIENT AND CONSISTENT! IT WILL HAPPEN! Once your pup begins to understand the new rules your interactions together will become much smoother and enjoyable.
How to create a patient pooch:
1. Food/Treat Access: While holding your dog's food/water dish or treat in your hand, ask that your dog "sit" before lowering the dish to the floor or giving that treat to your pup. **This seems to be the only one most owners do daily!
2. Attention: Before petting or picking up your dog, let him get all that excited energy out. Ignore all the hoopla (turn your back on and walk away from any jumping) . The moment your pup settles a bit ask him to "sit." Begin petting when your pup sits. If he jumps up again in excitement...repeat. Wait out the excitement and only offer attention when he is sitting.
3. Play with other dogs: Upon arrival at the dog run, ask your pup to sit as you approach the gate. The leash is unclipped and the gate opens only after your pup has offered a sit for you.
4. Access to the outdoors: Whether on leash or off, your dog should "sit" before any door is opened for him to walk through. If you are leash walking your dog (who likely becomes excited at the sight of the leash) require that your he sits calmly as you put the leash on.
These very easy exercises only add a maximum of two to three minutes to your daily routine!
As devoted and loving dog parents, I think we would all agree that a few minutes each day are well worth a life-long solid relationship our furry best friend!
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