A few weeks ago, Porter and I had a few days that were highly out of our routine. We were staying with friends, around lots of people during the day, and our regular schedules of exercise and relaxation were disrupted. None of this was bad, just different.
I knew this was coming ahead of time so had time to prepare. And by prepare, I mean worry. I was concerned how he would do in a brand new place without our normal routine. I was concerned his anxiety would come out through his behavior. I couldn’t blame him, I was anxious too and my behavior would be different. I knew my piloting skills might not be up to par like the usually are. I would have to try and fake that I wasn’t anxious. Sure, I could do that, but it wouldn’t be enough.
So, we walked. Everywhere. And a lot.
I would get up earlier than normal to take him on his walks. I made the walks longer to get out any excess energy.
On top of that, when we had the option of driving or walking, we walked. It may have taken us longer, but we both needed that time. Not only did it help both of us get rid of some anxious energy, but it also put more Piloting money in my bank with little effort. I don’t have to fake my confidence on a walk. We’ve done that 1,000 times. It’s a good way for me to get some more Piloting in with little effort.
I also had Porter have a play date or two. That is one of the best ways to tire out a dog with little effort on your end. So, Porter had a blast wrestling, running and playing tug of war with his Pittie friend Sadie.
By the end of the weekend we were both exhausted. It had been strenuous emotionally and physically on both of us, but we made it through! And he acted like a champ the entire time.
If you know your Piloting skills may not be up their usual standards, look for ways that you can help yourself succeed. Exercising your dog and getting rid of any excess energy is a great place to start. It will make things easier for you to handle. You’re not expected to be perfect all the time. That’s not the way things work. But, make sure you’re setting yourself and your dog up for success. Supplement activity and work if you need to and then get back to full time Piloting as soon as you can.
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH