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Monday, March 12, 2012

Simple Bonding

A dog, like many other things, can give you great pleasure. But like many other things, your dog requires an investment of your time, time that is often very difficult to spare. Investing a half hour of undivided attention twice a day with your puppy every day will result in an adult dog that is well disciplined and a joy to have around. Your puppy would love to have ALL of your time, which (obviously) is impossible to do. There is an easy way to give your puppy a LARGE block of time that will not be terribly disrupting to your life. We think of our sleep time as time that we can accomplish nothing else but actually it is a great opportunity for you puppy to bond with you. NO, I am not talking about letting your puppy sleep in your bed. I know that many people do that but not me!  
If you will move your new puppy's crate into your bedroom so that the pup has a 'den' right beside your bed then the pup will know that you are close throughout the night. Your puppy will take comfort in hearing your breathing (yes, even your snoring) and will actually be growing more attached to you as you both sleep.  This is a multiplying factor for your twice a day training time because in the dog's mind you have spent ALOT of time with him or her through the night. As your puppy outgrows the small crate, if you have room you can switch to a larger crate. If there is not room for you growing dog to have it's own den within your bedroom you can fasten a sturdy eyescrew into the baseboard of the wall close to the bed. Make a six foot tether that fastens to the eyescrew and has a snap for the dog's collar. When you go to bed, attach your dog to the tether so that you will not lose sleep wondering if the young dog is wandering off and getting into trouble in the night. By the time she or her has reached 12-15 months old, they should be accustomed enough to their sleeping place and mature enough to be trusted to be free through the night.  This is a great way to build the dog's relationship with you while you sleep . . .  a 'two-fer' (two for one . . .  sleep & dog bonding) or a 'three-fer' if you consider your dog's presence as a security factor in the night.

Until next time . . . .   Eliot

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