I’ve read that it’s a good idea to make your dog feel useful, especially if it’s a working breed. It helps his mental stimulation. Giving your dog a job is especially useful for reactive dogs because it gives them something to focus on besides potentially scary things coming down the street. Continue reading
We have recently started started taking Spencer with us in the morning when I drive Greg to the train station. It gets him used to a lot of things:
- Seeing people on the sidewalks near our house (there are two schools nearby)
- Riding in the car
- Having people mill about the car (especially when we’re near the train station)
- The “pack” separating outside the safe haven of our yard.
It also helps banalize outings so he doesn’t think that every time he leaves our fenced-in yard he’s going on a super-long walk.
He seems to really enjoy doing this, even if it’s a short adventure. As a matter of fact, he enjoys it so much that if we haven’t left by 8.30, he starts barking and insisting on having our attention, apparently thinking that we have just forgotten to leave! And there is nothing that can be done to calm him down until we go! When we finally shows real signs of leaving, he gets super excited.
Luckily, it’s not just clock time that gets him so excited, but the fact that we are both clearly dressed and ready to go. On the weekend when we are moving slower, he doesn’t insist it’s time to leave, and we can take it easy.