Tips from our trainer – Donna Gleason – TLC Dog Trainer
Every Dog needs a job – but what exactly is a job?
Every other Sunday Mr. Socrates goes to work and performs a job. His job is to assist Paula Gallo, Lead Manager at the Home Depot – New Milford, Connecticut – in finding customers who would like to receive a free-estimate for any of their home renovation needs. When at the store, associates always go out of their way to welcome Mr. Socs and their Home Depot customers. No matter who is interacting with Mr. Socs, he knows the rules when working: he is expected to behave in a certain way till his hour long shift is over and then off to the car he goes for a tasty treat. That’s the routine and it never changes. When returning home from work, Mr. Socs is tired and usually takes a long nap. All dogs need a job. However, some owners may have difficulty finding the right job for their dog. Typically, the reason(s) why owners don’t find their dog a job can boil down to one of the following:
- They may not realize that finding a job for their dog doesn’t need to be complicated.
- They may not realize the importance of giving their dog a job.
- They may not realize that all dogs can be given a job with a bit of time and effort.
Finding a job for your dog doesn’t have to be complicated. A job doesn’t mean your pet has to become an AKC champion or to learn to sniff out bombs. The good news is that a job can be much simpler and all dogs, no matter what issues they have, can learn a job. Here’s the criteria to think about when finding a job for your dog:
- A job is an activity or series of activities that provides an opportunity for mental and/or physical stimulation.
- A job is performed regularly and routinely.
- The behavior(s) that are expected when your dog is performing his job are consistent.
- A job well done is always reinforced/rewarded.
Why is it important to find your dog a job? We have all heard the saying – A tired dog is a good dog!!. Dogs who have a job tend to display less behavioral issues and are calmer due to the additional mental and/or physical stimulation they receive. A job creates the opportunity for your dog to become a thinking dog. Thinking dogs tend to display less behavioral issues. Many dogs who live in an environment lacking of mental and/or physical stimulation often find their own creative ways to stimulate their mind and body – digging, barking, chewing, hyperactivity, attention seeking behaviors, chasing the cat and much, much more…
Every dog can have a job:
Use your imagination and the tips below as a guide to begin finding a job for your dog today.
- When going for a walk, have your dog sit at all curbs, stop signs and when greeting new people.
- Have your dog sit and wait before exiting a door or their crate.
- Teach your dog go to his crate or a special place on cue.
- Have your dog sit and wait before eating his dinner.
- Teach your dog to go to a specific spot while you are eating your dinner.
- Teach your dog to eat his food out of interactive toys. Premier Pet Products offers some great products for this.
- Teach your dog to bring you his leash when going on a walk.
- Have your dog pick up and place their toys in a toy box or basket.
- In the morning, establish a routine to have your dog greet and wake everyone up.
- Teach your dog to find which cup the treat is hidden under. Start with one cup and then increase the number of cups once he has mastered the previous level.
- Teach your dog to find objects hidden in the house.
- When playing catch with your dog – have him sit and wait before retrieving the ball.
- Enroll your dog into a group training classes (Basic Obedience, Canine Good Citizen, Agility and Rally are some great ways to help your dog become a thinking dog).
If you have trouble feeding your dog you can try the app controlled automatic pet feeder which will make your life easier.
Bottom-Line: Every dog needs a job. Dogs who have been given a job tend to be more emotionally balanced and calmer due to the additional mental and/or physical stimulation they receive.
If you would like to see Mr. Socs at work, please join Donna at the New Milford Home Depot on 5/20 @ 11:00.
Donna Gleason – TLC Dog Trainer resides in Sherman, CT. She is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with a Masters in Behavior Modification. She offers professional in-home dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification) as well as group puppy/basic obedience classes. Donna is a member of APDT, Delta Society, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, Delta Society and consulting trainer for PawSafe Animal Rescue.
To reach Donna call 203.241.4449 or visit her website @ www.TLCDogtrainer.com