How I Trained My Puppy Into A Daily Routine
A personal story and some dog and puppy training tips from me today about why it was important for me to develop a routine for my puppy so that she knew what to expect and look forward to on a daily basis and also so that I could maintain my daily routine in my home office.
Running a business from home requires discipline in itself as it is so easy to get distracted when working in your own home environment. The last thing I needed was a puppy asking me to play with it or to go for a walk every hour, so I needed to develop a routine for my dog as soon as possible.
I got my latest dog Zoe as a 7 week old puppy and to ensure that she got the attention and exercise that she needed and I was able to carry on with my own work with minimal disruption, I felt it was important to start the puppy training and get her into a routine at an early age.
I am an early riser and like to put in 2 - 3 hours work online before breakfast, Zoe on the other hand likes to sleep in, so it suited me fine that she preferred to stay in her bed until breakfast time.
Being a Jack Russell Terrier, Zoe has boundless energy and I planned on walking her twice a day. So, immediately after breakfast we got into the routine of going for our first walk of the day. This gives my eyes a break from the computer and keeps my blood circulating as well as gives Zoe a good start to the day.
I use a 15 foot retractable lead which gives Zoe quite a lot of freedom on her walks and in the area I live there are places where I can safely take her off the lead so she can have a good run around. She does not wander far and will immediately stand still when I say the word "wait".
When we get back home she is happy and content and as she has the run of the front garden and the house she is in and out for the rest of the morning doing her own thing, such as chasing lizards in the garden, guarding the house or just basking in the sun. She lets me know she is still around by popping into my study every now and again to say hello.
From the day I got Zoe, I have always set aside about 30 minutes after my lunch and supper for what I term quality play time. I played more frequently with Zoe when she was a puppy but for shorter periods of time. She really looks forward to this and as I am finishing up in the kitchen she will bring her favorite toy for a game of tug-of-war! She is quite happy to stop playing when I say "back to work now" and let's me return to my computer without any fuss.
Just before 4pm every day she will come into the study to remind me that it is time for our second walk of the day. This is usually a long walk and on the way home we stop in to see my mother where Zoe gets a biscuit! Her inner clock is extremely accurate and at exactly 5pm she will come to me and lick her lips as if to say "can we please go home now so I can have my supper".
Once again she is content to do her own thing until I have had my supper and she will remind me that it is time for another game of tug-of- war by bringing her favorite toy to the kitchen.
Whilst I spend a couple of hours on the computer in the evening she usually sleeps under my desk until I tell her it is bed time. This is when she gets her 2 biscuits and she will race down the passage to the bedroom with another toy and wait patiently until I arrive with her treats.
I also made a point of taking Zoe in the car from a very young age and now she loves to go for a ride and I just have to say the words "shall we go in the car" and she will run off and sit beside the car door ready for me to put her harness on so she can sit on her specially covered part of the seat in the back, with a short leash attached to her harness and secured so she cannot fall off the seat or be thrown around the car in the event of sharp braking.
We both get our daily exercise and the routine allows me to run my home business with minimal interruptions and prevents Zoe from getting bored.
It may take time to get the routine established but they adapt very quickly to those parts of the day when they get your full attention and become resigned to the fact that that is not going to happen all day long.
I enrolled her at a puppy school at a dog training center close by when she was 4 months old and continued to train her at home. I stuck to the daily routine as rigidly as possible so now she knows exactly what the day holds for her and she is happy and such a pleasure to have around as well as being a great companion.
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