A Day in The Life of My Crazy Dogs
People always wonder how I do it.
I admit sometimes I think I should be committed for having 2 Dutch Shepherds and a Belgian Malinois… for those of you that know working dogs that is serious dedication because both breeds are known for being insane.
I have a friend in the military that always reminds me how crazy that is, and he has been a K9 trainer and supervisor for 10+ years.
He reminds me that I seemingly asked for it.
Not all dogs are couch potatoes, actually most are not and they need real exercise for more on that click here. Dogs are born athletes.
So here is the rundown of what goes down in my pack during the day, and how I stay “sane” in a furry realm of what should be insanity.
My husband’s alarm goes off at 4:30 in the morning… as you might imagine, this excites the dogs. So I get up, let them out to play and get my husband’s coffee and lunch ready for the day.
Thank goodness, they are then in the habit of going back to bed. They get a dog biscuit for either meeting me in the bedroom, or racing to their crates. Since my husband has gotten up and gone to work, they often snuggle in the bed with me until we all drift off again. YES, I let my dogs (2 of them) sleep with me more on that and why click here.
I get up at 8:30 or so we snuggle for a bit still in bed before I get up and I let them out again and they typically get a free meal. I will explain “free vs. working” in a bit.
I hang out with them for about an hour as I get to shuffle around and wake myself up. Lately I have suffered from insomnia so it has been difficult for me to get my day started plus it gives their bodies a chance to digest some food.
I don’t want to feed them and then exercise them to the hilt for fear of a deadly condition called bloat to learn more about bloat click here.
I then either take them outside and do obedience, one at a time (the other’s wait it out in their crates) or I pedal cart them 5 miles to the lake and back more on that here.
Once we get to the lake, I let them swim, or retrieve, or dock dive into the lake.
In order to get to play in the lake, they must be able to perform a number of obedience commands. For example if you sit, or lie down, I will throw your ball into the lake. I also have them bark, or be quiet or heel for a few moments or give me eye contact.
You See Dogs Need Physical Exercise AND Mental Stimulation!!!
As a good dog owner and momma, it is imperative that I provide them with both physical and mental stimulation it is critical to their over-all wellbeing.
Even old dogs or dogs with arthritis need both mental and safe physical stimulation like walking or swimming.
I just happen to have 3 very young dogs that need lots of exercise.
After a good swim and run, my dogs sleep till afternoon. This allows me to get my work done, clean house, do laundry or leave for several hours without worrying about them getting into trouble or restlessly lying awake or barking in their crates.
Late afternoon brings a game of ball and retrieve in the yard.
Sometimes I allow them to play together and whoever listens to the command first gets the ball, and sometimes I work or play with them solo; this brings on another nap session.
I Make Them Work for Their Dinner
I don’t just throw food in their bowls for dinner. I actually make them work for their kibble.
I put their measured out dog food into my fanny pack and we head outside for training. Read this article.
Each of my dogs is working on something different in their training regimen.
- My girl is learning agility.
- My almost 2 year old boy is learning weight pulling.
- And my pup is just learning to listen to basic obedience and be less like an annoying puppy, ha ha.
On the weekend we typically drive for specialized training, participate in obedience or dock diving competitions or do some heavy hiking and Geocaching (for more on how to do that click here https://thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/geocaching-dogs-unite-2/)!
In order for us all to be happy, they need obedience training and almost constant stimulation while they are awake. That is why I strive to have them sleep more, when they are asleep they aren’t chasing the cat or eating my stuff!
And, the more quality time we spend together, the more we all build a bond and enjoy one another.
In some ways it doesn’t matter whether you are playing games, teaching tricks, learning a new skill like agility or just working on the basics all of this kind of stimulation teaches your dog to listen to you and builds a better best friend! All good relationships need time and work!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.