Does your dog get downtime?!

Let’s talk rest! I mean we all know how important it is in the human world but have you considered it for your dogs?!

Rest is a vital part of any dog training as much as the actual training is itself.

So with this in mind I want you to ask yourself if your dog gets any downtime? Does your dog have his own crate / bed that he can take himself off to where no one touches or bothers him?

Crates are a great way for the dog to have his own space.

If a dog is always on the go with little time to switch off then you can get some associated problems with their behaviour. Dogs need adequate rest time in a place that is completely their safe space where no one is allowed to bother them.

From a training perspective this is so important too. I love the games we teach as they are ideal 3 minute games that you and your dog have fun playing and they are only 3 minutes! Dogs learn much better if the training sessions are kept short with rest in between so they can have time to process what they are learning.

In a class situation I encourage students to bring a crate / bed or use their cars (if kitted out adequately) to enable the dogs to have that downtime in a very busy environment….this doesn’t mean the students get less learning, in fact they actually get more – by watching the other people take turns you can learn so much! Then when their dog comes back out they have had a rest away from the busy environment where it is possible that things could upset them. An hour is such a long time to expect the dog to focus for constantly.

Rest is also important in every day life too. I have had a very busy 2 day training event with my dogs, we learnt a lot of new skills and it required the dogs to have their thinking caps on!

So yesterday (and today) they did nothing!…. Well when I say nothing what I mean is they didn’t go out for a walk – we did however invest lots of time in calmness, active calmness (chews / kongs) and mental stimulation rather than physical, it allowed them both to switch off, chill out and rest both physically and mentally.

Lickimats are fantastic for promoting calmness and mental stimulation.

If a dog has had an event which has ‘overflowed their bucket’ this can be a big event or maybe a event where they have had a stressful encounter (maybe a fall out with another dog) they can actually need 72 hours of calm to enable all their hormones to get back to a normal level. If we don’t give our dogs this time, their bucket can keep overflowing and you can get some unwanted behaviors.

So think about your dogs and how much rest time they are having, proper rest time where they can completely switch off from the world and make a note – could you be doing more to help them relax?

Calmness is so important in dog training and it is something that we as owners need to invest time in training. A calm dog is a happy dog!

If you would like more information on how to implement this for your dog get in touch, have a look at our website and events and join us on one of our workshops, classes or in a one to one training session.

Happy Training šŸ˜

Play….. Train….. Enjoy….. Succeed!

Katrina šŸ¾

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