Apparently things have been busy lately as indicated by my unintentional month long hiatus. Nate has started into crunch time at work so he’s been working 12 hour days, 6 days a week. We are trying to save for a house, save for and plan a wedding, grocery shop on a semi normal basis, get the cars oil changed, make a home cooked meal at least once a week, walk the dog etc.
That being said, our schedule is a bit off, and it shows in Dalton. We have been putting him in daycare an extra day a week since our schedules have gotten so hectic, and there are days when he does not want to go, I have to physically push him into the building. Granted, when he gets there he’s running, playing and having a grand ol’ time but our hectic schedules and being out of our routine has definitely affected him. He’s mopey without Nate around (I’m Dalton’s silver medal) and not doing fun family things on the weekends like in this post has thrown us out of whack too.
All the craziness lately has not only made me value what an awesome dog that Dalton has become, but has made me realize how much consistency even the littlest of things, affects his behavior. For instance, a few months ago I started making D sit by the front door so I could put his leash on before we go outside. He’s generally very good with “sit” and does alright with “stay/wait” but sometimes I will turn around after throwing on my coat and boots to find him sitting, waiting patiently for me. My original intent in doing this was so I could get his leash on without him bouncing around, but slowly but surely making it a habit, as unintentional as it was has actually made him more manageable. It got me thinking back to all of those dog books we read that said consistency is key. Now at the time, consistency was few and far between because one minute our precious puppy was sleeping peacefully and the next he is biting us with his needle teeth. But I think at least having an idea in your head about certain do’s and do not’s (if there is more than one of you at home, be a united front otherwise nothing will work.) will help you find a way to curb bad behaviors and reward good ones in a way that suits you and the dog. While I respect Cesar, I don’t think that his methods will work for every person and every dog. And besides, it’s hard to stay calm and patient when you have been contemplating leaving your puppy on a corner to fend for itself because it chewed something yet again.
I’ve found that as time goes on and you get used to your dog’s quirks, you can figure out a system that works for everyone in the house. But like the books say, consistency is important even if it ends up being accidental. Just think about things that will make your life easier, and work it into your routine. The dog will pick up on it once we figure out how to communicate what we want.
That’s all for my random post!