Since we have virtually no time for “real” dog training these days, I’ve taken to making even everyday things … like Lilly following me around as I attempt to keep the house somewhat in order … into a working thing. OK, maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better, but Lilly seems to enjoy doing what I ask, even if she would do those things anyway.
For example, rather than just letting her follow me up and down the stairs as I do laundry. I ask her to SIT-STAY while I load the washer. I release her when it’s time to move. I ask her to SLOW when we go up the stairs together. I ask her to DOWN-STAY off the bed while I put on fresh sheets.
I reward these daily activities, just as if we were doing new training tasks, and I have to say that Lilly honestly responds like it is real work. And, we all know how much she loves to work.
So, even if it’s a simple HOP UP (where she settles on the bed), I ask her to do something as much as I can so that we can engage in a deeper human-canine communication than when she just follows me around hoping for a little interaction.
Her latest thing is bringing me sticks while I soak outside in the hot tub. She gets to play fetch. I get to relax … at the same time.
I really am trying to make more time to play and walk and work with her the few hours I have to myself each day. And, as I mentioned earlier, if a nap is what I need, then Lilly is absolutely invited.
I still feel like we’re in a deep hole, but we’re making the best of it.