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Do You Know what Makes Your Dog Tick?

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When I am pet sitting, I take my cues from the pet I’m caring for regarding how we spend our time together. Sometimes it could be all play, another time some play and some TLC. I have found the pets enjoy the visit more if they get what they need at that particular.

In an article published in the May 2011 issue of Whole Dog Journal, a similar concept called free-time training is discussed. This method involves observing your pet in various circumstances and environments to see what motivates him. Once an owner knows his pet’s motivation, the knowledge can be incorporated into training sessions to make them more successful.

When starting free-time training, here are a few suggestions:

  • Be sure to work in a safe area with no traffic and minimal outside distractions
  • Some days you’ll learn more. Realize that some days will just be a fun outing, while other days you may learn much about your dog.
  • If your dog tends to be cautious or worrisome, start with short session, 5-10 minutes. The free time could overwhelm your dog at first, starting slow will help ease him into free-time better.
  • Be careful not to direct your dog’s play. Be there as a source of encouragement, but the intent is to let your dog follow his natural tendencies, that’s when you’ll learn more about what makes him tick.

It can be quite enlightening to sit back and watch your dog. What makes your dog tick?


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