It’s no surprise that having a routine or structure can greatly be beneficial to people. It helps us feel safe and creates a rhythm in our lives where we know what to expect. But have you ever thought about how having a routine can help you and your furbabies? In this article, we share some tips on how to help your dog prepare for back to school time. We specifically focus on routines that you should be practicing with your pups.
In books like Fostering Resilient Learners by Kristian Souers, a therapist, and Peter A. Hall, a psychologist, talks about why routines are helpful in the classroom especially, with kids. In this book, they suggest that routines are the opposite of chaos and disorganization. That is, when you have routines that you’ve taught a young child or pup, then you’ve also helped address behavior issues. For example, many misbehaviors that furbabies engage in comes from not being taught routines or having structure in place.
Let’s take a look at a specific example. You wake up every morning and take your pup outside so that they can potty. This helps them understand that there’s a routine every morning that happens. This also prevents them from using their sleeping space as a potty place. So, if you’re having issues with misbehavior from your furbaby or if your furbaby doesn’t seem to “follow” the rules, then having a routine that you practice with them can help you with their behaviors.
If you want to help your dog prepare for back to school time, it’s important to help your pup understand what he or she will need to do. For example, having routines that you explicitly practice with them. It’s important that as you get your pup used to a routine, that you make that routine as obvious as possible.
For example, don’t just expect your dog to know to sit down in the back of the car rather than standing or walking around while you’re picking up your children. Practicing explicit instructions like “sit” can help your dog know what is expected of them. That is, your dog needs to know what you’re expecting from them before you judge a behavior as a misbehavior.
That being said, here are ideas for routines that you should be practicing with your furbabies.
As we mentioned before, it’s very important to have routines set in place for what your dog should do to enter the car. If you don’t have a routine, your pup might just jump right in, thereby hurting themselves, others, or even the interior of the car. You can practice things like stating “sit” right before they enter and then “in” or “go” as a command to get in the car.
You should also have a routine for what to do when they’re in the car. Practicing things like sitting down and not leaning too far out the window. Also not scratching the seats of the car or chewing and other things should also be practiced with your pup. One way to help with chewing or scratching is by having a toy inside your car with you so that your pup is entertained. For safety reasons, you may also get car seats and seatbelts for your furbaby.
Routines for exiting the car might look like practicing “wait” so that they learn to wait until you let them out and “go” for when you’re ready to let them out.
Rather than waiting until school is over, it’s important to take your pup on a walk at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon so that they feel engaged. As with humans, your pup is more likely to misbehave if he or she is not being given attention. They are also more likely to misbehave if they have unused energy that needs to be used.
As we mentioned before, it’s important that you have toys handy for your pup. Your pup is most likely to use those toys rather than other things around them if you have those toys handy. This will also save you from having to worry about things like chewing and nipping. This is especially true for younger dogs like puppies.
Your fur babies are after all your babies. That means that if you want to avoid misbehavior, you’ll need to build a rapport with your pup. Your pup shouldn’t be getting attention only when they do something wrong, they should be acknowledged regardless of what they’re doing. So, if you want to build a connection with your pup, you will need to have moments together where fun and play are encouraged.
At Little Teton Doodles, our pups have been trained and are used to basic routines. We are confident that you will love our doodles and they will love you and your family!