A daily routine is very helpful in helping a dog develop a sense of security and confidence (AND, is great for housetraining!).
Here is a sample of what you might try with your dog.
7 AM- 8 AM Take Sparky to eliminate. Have him lie down or sit before opening the kennel*. (The reward is the door opening). Say “OK” before opening. Begin by asking for a 1 second sit or down and gradually increase the time.
- As Sparky eliminates, Call (“label”) the elimination process with a word like “Outside”, or “Hurry-up”, praise him and maybe offer him a treat when he is successful. Bring him back inside the house and let Sparky investigate and say hello to people. Everyone waits for Sparky to sit or lie down before getting petted, without saying sit or lie down. He has to figure it out. Ignore him until he does.
- Sparky is fed. Practice the “find it” games, come, sit or down before putting dish down.
- Sparky is taken outside to eliminate about 15 minutes after eating and then taken for a walk. (puppies must have vaccinations ) Practice walk without pulling, come, sit, and down , especially at streets.
- Sparky is taken back inside and allowed to explore a little. Practice the “magnet game” throughout the day. Put him in a kennel, exercise pen or tethered in a supervised, social area. Give some kind of chewies like Bully Sticks, Chicken Strips, or toys filled with treats, i.e. “Kong”.
9 AM- 12 PM Rest
12 PM-1 PM Sparky taken outside to eliminate. (Remember sit or down before going in or out the door.)
- Inside or outside, practice 1-2 minutes of sit, down, stay, come, go-to-spot,. the “find it” Make it fun! Vary the routine. Vary the treats.
- Throw toys and play with him. Have him chase you, do not chase him. Interact with people in friendly, positive ways (must earn treats and affection).
1 PM- 5 PM Rest. Possibly a dog walker can visit if your dog is left alone for long periods.
5 PM- 6 PM Take outside to eliminate.
- Repeat above activities. Take him for a walk in the neighborhood. Be watchful of stray dogs!
- Practice heeling, walk without pulling, sit, come, down, stay.
- Interact with people. Ask them to follow “approach and greet” protocols. (Tell them he’s in training). Praise his good behavior!
6 PM-10 PM Supervised free time or… kenneled or tethered in social area. Watch tv (especially the Dog Whisperer DVD!), read or spend time on the computer while practicing magnet game. Give some kind of chewies like Bully Sticks, Chicken Strips, or toys filled with treats, i.e. “Kong”.
- Attend dog training class once a week.
10 PM Taken outside to eliminate. Kenneled* in bedroom or tethered in bedroom for a good night’s sleep.
* If you have adopted a new dog, be careful not to distress him or her if they are not used to kenneling or tethering. Contact Mark for advice.