Get a dog, they said, it will be easy, they said. Well, in order for it to be easy you need to adopt a solid routine that works for you and your dog!
If you're ever wondering why your dog is being a pain in the ass please ask yourself how often they've been getting out. You will quickly realize that it's probably because they are trying to release pent up energy. So taking your dog on structured walks should be at your highest priority when considering a daily routine.
If you're ready to be the best dog parent by adding these habits to your daily routine then let's dive right in!
Give your dog what they crave by adding these habits to your routine:
» Make sure to exercise your dog at least one hour a day depending on their temperament.
» All dogs should have scheduled meal times. Spoiler alert: that means no free-feeding!
» Having a balanced walk before mealtimes makes your dog feel like they "earned" their meal. In the wild, animals often work long hours to find food so try and mimic that with a walk.
» Practice basic obedience with "sit" and "stay" while you set their food down. Increase the distance each day to practice space. When you are ready for them to eat say "eat!" or "okay!".
» Whenever you walk through a hallway or doorway your dog should go after you. Before you enter the doorway say "wait" or "back" then confidently walk in front. This routine is to enforce control and manners and to establish your role as a pack leader.
» Playtime should be initiated by the human. Do not allow your dog to get in the habit of barking, nudging, or tugging at you when they want to play. Same thing goes for giving attention!
» Demand your space at random times throughout the day. Encourage your dog to be independent so you can have space when needed. This really comes in handy when you want to use the restroom, fold laundry, stretch.. you know the simple things!
» Never respond to your dog's whining or barking because you'll encourage this bad behavior. Instead, wait for them to sit with their tail still (or some other acceptable quiet behavior) and then let them out or give them attention.
» If you allow your dog on the furniture, practice inviting and uninviting them at random times throughout the day. Use "on" and "off" frequently so you both are prepared for when you have guests over.
If you can practice these daily habits you are on your way to being a balanced dog parent. Remember, dogs crave discipline and routine so give them what they crave!
Side note: I know it seems mean to kick them off the couch every now and then, but let's be real.. that extra leg space is going to feel real good. Should I also remind you that they sleep practically the whole day? Give yourself a break and kick those feet up!