Instructions on how to train your dog by playing games
Instructions on how to train your dog how to tidy up their toys and how to make it into a game your dog will love to play. Follow these easy instructions to train your dog by doing only 10 minutes a day. This is part of a number of posts I write on dog training. take a look at my other games including ‘giving you a cuddle’ and ‘high five’.
Why not teach your dog to clear up their own toys, you can by making it into a fun game.
What you need
Toy Box / Toy Basket
Healthy small dog treats
Important information before you start :
The best way of teaching this game is to not to make the training sessions too long – good amount of time is to do about 5 to 10 minutes a day
Only play this game, if your dog is enjoying it and is actively engaged with the game. Don’t ever force your dog to do any action or game if it is causing them distress…now to the training
Put the toy box in a fixed place and place the toys near to the box.
Show your dog one of their favourite toys, such as, our French Bulldog, Dinky Daisy, loves her mini antler toy, I know she will always be willing to take it from me.
Show this toy to your dog and encourage them to go with you to their toy box.
Hand this favourite toy to your dog so they are holding it in their mouth
Now is the clever bit…holding a treat in your hand, show your dog the treat and offer it to your dog so they drop the toy that is in their mouth into the toy box. As they drop the toy say the command you are going to use for this game – I say ‘tidy up’
Practice just this a few times a day until your dog understands what you want them to do when you say your command.When your dog has understood, start introducing more toys, giving a treat on the second drop.
Keep practicing this everyday and in no time at all your dog will on command tidy up their toys !
Enjoy this training session and I would love to hear how you get on with your dogs new-found confidence in tidying up their toys – comments and photos of how your training is going are welcomed and you never know, you may end up on the next post !
If you need a new toy box why not buy this – clicking on this link costs you no more but gives me a few pennies to keep this blog going.
This blog is written to help you parents of both children and dogs these are some activities that are based for your children and your family dog to do together – please read on to find activities for children and dogs to do together.
You have been so busy you haven’t even had time to have a wee in the last 4 hours, it is a Saturday and you still have the whole house to clean which looks like a tornado has whipped through it and then you hear those dreaded words from your children … “I’m Bored”. You say something like why don’t you all play out in the garden – but you know deep down that this is not going to wash as an idea, that they can sense that you have just relied on the old go play out in the garden line that you always fall back on . That there is no way they are going to say ”what a wonderful idea Mum, you are so amazing” whilst running out in to the garden singing your praises , leaving you to clean the house
They are looking for more from you and before you have even pressed the on button on the Hoover the little angels start the bored routine – jumping on the sofa, fighting with each other until one ends up crying and running around the house hitting each other with anything to hand – empty toilet rolls, socks and towels were always a favourite in our house.
Then you see your dog lying in its bed waiting for something exciting to happen like the appearance of the lead or food bowl…now you feel guilty that you haven’t walked the dog yet or spent much time with her. So two lots of guilt, bored children and bored dog – it is time to come up with a plan. Games for both children and dogs to do together.
Encouraging and building a trusting, respectful and bonding relationship between your children and your family dog is vital for your dogs well-being and health, it also teaches your children so many life skills. It is important that your children know how to treat their dog with respect and care and that they have the tools to give their dog direction and commands that your dog follows.
One way to do this is to use fun activities that both your children and dog can to do together.
Hopefully this list of activities will help
1. Treasure hunt
This needs a bit of fore thought, but worth the bit of effort– go and hide little treats for your children ( in little Tupperware boxes , so your dog doesn’t eat them by accident), Easter is coming up why not do it with little Easter eggs and a treat for your dog around the garden – write clues indicating where the treats are on pieces of paper folded in half and put in a jar.
One child reads the clue and calls the dog to her/his side – gives the command to sit and gives her a small treat to get her interested in the game.
The children will take it in turns to go outside to find the treat following the directions on the clue – the child that reads the clue is the one who is in charge of the dog and calls the dog to looks for the treat, do this by pointing under things for your dog to look, voice tone (e.g excited tone when asking the dog to sniff in a certain places, a normal tone if telling the dog that the treat is not there). The rest of the group sits down and supports the child looking for the treat by giving ideas where the treat might be.
Once the treat have been found they can start again – another child can choose the clue from the jar – now it is the turn of that child to be charge of the dog – starting the process with giving the dog a small treat again.
This could be done on the time trial basis – see which child can do a clue the fastest, the children who are not looking for the clue can not help but instead time each other.
2. Join the Junior Kennel Club
This is a club based with the Kennel Club and has amazing things for your child to do with their dog – If I was a child I would have loved to have been part of this club. It is only fifteen pounds for the year, and for that you gets loads.
Read their Blurb from the Kennel Club Website
“Members receive FREE tickets for Crufts and Eukanuba Discover Dogs, access to our dog training days, entry to our great competitions and events, so there are always opportunities to make new friends – furry or not!
When it comes to learning whilst having fun, you’ve come to the right place. You and your dog will get the best training there is, with Kennel Club experts teaching:
Heelwork to Music
Our senior members are also there to help when you need. They’ve often been with us since they were very young, so they’re the best people to lead our activities.
Lots of our members take part in Crufts each year, in a variety of dog activities. Some of our members have even taken their passion for dogs to the screen, like Ashleigh & Pudsey( who were Junior Kennel Club members) who went on to win Britain’s Got Talent! But it’s not all fame and competition – far from that. Our proudest achievement is that we’ve brought together a community of young dog lovers. And we want you to be a part of it for only £15 for the whole year!”
So back to some more activities for children and dogs
So if it is raining outside and your children need to do a quieter activity why not get them writing, how about a blog…stay with me on this,
3. As a librarian and avid writer I would like invite your children to send a blog post to be added on Yoga Dogs.
I love to have dog stories on my blog page so…
Why not get your children to write a blog post and tell them that it will be put on the internet for others to read.
They can write about anything dog related – it needs to be one piece of A4 or shorter in length – include a photo or photos ( no photos of the child writing needs to be sent, as I know a lot of parents do not want photos of their children on the internet) so think dog photos, action shots, holiday snaps – get the idea.
This piece needs to be written on a Word Doc so I can transfer it to my site – with a bit about the Author, how old and about their dog and a contact email so I can let you know when the post is added.
Ideas for blog posts;
A holiday they have been on and what they did with their dog, was the holiday destination a good choice for their dog, what places were good with dogs and what were not dog friendly, good walks they could share with others.
A dog training blog – how they have trained their dog to do something including instructions so others can try
A recipe for dog healthy treats
A fiction story where the main character is a dog
Send their finished blog post to me email@example.com and leave a comment under this post to let me know that you have submitted a post.
4. Hide and Seek
In this game one of your children is in charge and tells your dog to ’stay’. Either that child or one of the others goes and hides with a dog treat in their hand – tell them not to hide in a really hard place the first few times so your dog can learn what she needs to do in the game. Give the dog the command ‘find’ and send them off to look.
When they have hidden they call the dog’s name about three times and they then do not say anything to give the dog time to work out where to find them. Each time they play this game they need to hide in harder and harder places to really challenge the dog.
This is great training for your dog and soon you will be able to hide the dog treat without someone holding it – you can then move on to hiding a toy by showing your dog a toy and then without the dog seeing hide the toy and give the dog a command like ‘find’ to start the game
5. Write a book
You will need some paper, folded in the middle to make a blank book, pens and a camera / phone camera and colouring pens – put supplies on a table with chairs around.
Ask the children to write a story called ‘My adventures with(Your dog’s name). Tell them they need to come up with a make-believe adventure that they have been on with their dog.
Me and my dog went into space
Me and my dog had to find who stole the towns gold
Me and my dog stepped into another world
Me and my dog got into our time machine that we had hidden in our bedroom and ended up in the year…..
Once your children have an idea it is time to make the book cover, give them some books to look at so they get an idea what needs to be on the cover – such as a catchy title, authors name and picture of the story – make it special for them to write their story -writing to me is everything and maybe this could be the start of your child’s writing journey – Often the relationship between your dog and child is very strong – often they have grown up together so for your child to write a story their dog will be a great start to a journal that can develop as they get older and add to it – I love the look of the Diary of an Awesome kid as a keepsake type of journal.
Now it is time to leave them to write their story – they need to write on one side of the folded paper and the other side is to put a picture on or a pencil note of the sort of photo they would like.
When they have written the story it is time to make the pictures they want to put in – they can do this by photographing the dog. I would suggest watching the dog carefully as he or she goes about their daily business as opportunities for snaps will present themselves – or if the dog is in the mood they can try and set up scenes, remember to make these photo shoots fun and rewarding for the dog. ( It is important to explain to your children that your dog is not a professional model and so may not pose in the way they want and to never to force your dog to do anything they are not happy doing ) tell them they could have a page for outtakes !
You will now have to upload the photos onto the computer and get them printed – either with the use of your own printer or you can always find great deals online to get them sent to you printed ( it is kind of fun to get you photos through the post ) – Try Super Snaps, get your photos printed and to help with the cost I am offering you 10% off when you click the link below !
Once you have the photos get them to stick them into their books – time to read their finished product.
Hope you enjoyed the above activities, please feel free to add your activities in the comments – we can all do with ideas sometimes to help our day go that little more smoothly and it is amazing to see your children and dogs play side by side.
It is International Women’s Day, such inspiring stories of amazing women..so I am a women – do I feel that I have succeed, inspired others been influential ? Well, truthfully no I don’t
As a 40 and a bit, cubby old tracksuit wearing woman who has been ‘trying’ her whole life but feeling like she never ‘succeeds’ at anything. Recently I have started to question why that is. As I sit here in my living room looking around at where I am I start thinking to myself – how did this all happen? How did it happen that I’ve ended up sat in front of a laptop, in a little house living with my husband and parents in law and two dogs on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.
As a little girl I wanted to ‘be’ something, thinking about it now I am not really sure what that means –‘be something?’. Is it to be noticed by lots of people? To be respected as an expert on a subject? To be famous? To own a highly successful business? I am not sure anymore. I just know that I don’t feel that I am, well, anything.
So how did I end up at 40 and a bit, living with my husband and parent in laws (not forgetting my two dogs) on Bodmin Moor? Chance? Bumbling along and banging into life opportunities and encounters? Again I am not really sure. Is this what my being something looks like…? I hope not.
I have anchors that pin points big life moments – my Mum dying when I was 19 years old and in my first term in University, my daughter being born when I was 20 , again when I was at University and becoming a young single mum, the meeting of my husband at a friend’s retirement party in a night club and the move to Bodmin Moor to live with his parents. Then I have smaller but still noteworthy moments in my life that have also shaped where I’ve ended up , my Dad moving away to France with his new wife, my sister moving to Australia with her now husband thus leaving me with very little family in the UK.
The thing I am sure of is that I am not where I want to be – don’t get me wrong – I don’t mean in a physical sense, mentally, I know I am not there yet.
How do I know this? Many things highlight that I am not where I want to be… I still have that little green envious monster lurking in the pit of my stomach when ( by accident, I am not searching) I look at old friends facebook walls and with the help of face book they all look like they have magazine type lifestyles – well worked out beautiful bodies, happy children, happy marriages, businesses that are doing well etc. So back to me…Do you know the ‘box’ – you know the box others put you in with a big label on – what does your label say – mine says in big bold letters – Not done great
My family have been put me in the ‘messed my life up box’ or in simple terms ‘it’s just Emily’ I know my place, and that is at the bottom of the family ladder of successfulness – the worse thing of being in that box is that I do not have voice. I am only noticed only when I am discussed around the table when I have made or done a life change – I make a good story to tell and gossip about – ‘did you hear? Emily has had a baby at 20?…OMG no really has she, well we are going have to now support her, she will not be able to do that on her own or cope, that poor baby…’ and so on (I would just like to point out that my daughter is amazing – she is in her final year at University heading for a 1st) . I love my family and they are great but I know that I am looked at with that ‘slight pity look mixed with I am so glad I am not her look’
This post sound like a big old moan, I don’t mean it to come across like that I am just trying to understand how I became the grown up version of me…
I am a trier as I said, I strive to feel that I am something, successful and respected. I have done many things – a Law degree, working as a librarian, a family venture social enterprise, many evening classes from British Sign Language to jewleraly making – none of these have come to much and I have never felt that I fit into them.
So as I said I don’t feel that I have succeeded in anything, maybe to some it is not important to feel successful or that you have made ‘it’ but to me it is. So to this blog ’ Yogadogs’ – I am a secret blogger – I write in between cleaning the house, in between the yelling’s from my husband of ‘ make the tea love’ or at night whilst everyone is sleeping, I look at the pictures on instagram of the beautiful cream desks, with sewing machines on, shelves above, the odd pot plant to make the space yen and I can only dream of a work space. Me I am balancing my laptop on my lap on a sofa with a pile of ironing on the side and two dogs draped over the tiny bit of lap I have left – I don’t know why I am writing this blog and setting up a dog brand up in my semi secret way…I am making out it is nothing important, why ? – I suppose I have little faith in my ability ( with the words of my husband still ringing my ears of – no point you putting any money into this, loads of people are doing the same thing – just make it into a little hobby love’ but it is important to me, to make a success out of this, to hush the voice in my head telling me I am wasting my time. I need this venture to make ‘it’. Yogadogs is not just about my dogs, it is just as much about me – blogging is not just writing, it involves so much more than that, it is going to put me out there – selling my brand to people, putting my blog and dog clothes out in the market with a absolute belief that it is good and that people will want to buy into it, buy into me…
I felt the need to write this post when I woke up this morning, maybe writing about me it is a leap of faith that I can and will do this. I am writing this between my husband asking me important life questions that only I have the answers– where are my trousers? what is for lunch and look the dog has had a wee on the floor you better wipe that up before it ruins the wooden floor, but through getting out the kitchen roll to clean up dog wee, getting his trousers from where he left them and telling him he was having the gourmet lunch of cheese and pickle sandwiches, I have continued to write this.
I suppose I wanted to understand how I got here, sat in front of my laptop writing a blog and making bandannas for dogs on my little sewing machine. I don’t think I have come up with the answer although maybe it is time to leave my fears behind and step into the shoes of a business owner and blogger and own who I want to be and keep going.
My day job is that of a librarian, I love books and I read a lot. Of course you all know that my other love is dogs so combining these passions are a must for me. Dog Books !!
I thought I would share my favourite dog inspired books – this list will be added to as I continue my reading so please check back from time to time
Five Hundred Mile Walkies by Mark Wallington
This read is what it says on the title; Mark Wallington walks the South West Coastal Path with his friend’s dog. They start in Somerset and walk the five hundred route through Devon and Cornwall.
Neither of them are prepared or your standard ‘walker’ and his dog is more used to travelling on the London Underground than seeing rabbits and the delights that the countryside has to offer them both. I love the personal journeys that they both take in learning how to understand the walk that they are undertaking.
This book follows their adventures walking from place to place, with descriptive narrative on each place they visit – I think this is a go back to book, not only as a story but as a guide to amazing coastal walks.I have used this book time and time again and found some astounding places in my home county of Cornwall.
Marley and Me by John Grogan
You might have seen the film; to be honest I cannot watch the film without crying like a baby. The book is just as good or I would say even better. This is a get wrapped up in a blanket, get a cuppa, turn off the phone and read type of book.
I have ordered my next choice and I cannot wait for it to arrive…
Think Dog: An Owner’s guide to Canine Psycology by John Fisher
This book looks at how our dogs see the world – it is a dogs point of view on things.
I can’t be the only one that looks at my dog and wonders what they are thinking – I am hoping this book will help answer that for me.
“In this seminal pet psychology book, John Fisher examines the mind of the dog with examples taken from his practical experience, with the aim of explaining to owners how the world appears from a dog’s point of view.”
Then in the second part of the book he looks at the A – Z of common dog behaviour problems
I will let you know what I think once I have had a read
4. This is my holiday pick
A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
What a lovely book, this one is to be read whilst sat on a sunny patio or in a hammock on a beach holiday, holding a cool drink – this book is going to make you smile. It is a “…dog’s-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend. A moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose”
I do have to work, at home, but still I need time where I don’t need to be entertaining my French Bulldog, Dinky Daisy and English Bulldog, Grace. When I am trying to do something it only takes 5 minutes and my dogs are bored – I am looking at five interactive dog toys that will boredom bust
Interactive toys are great – They keep changing what they do, make your dog use its brain and keeps them busy and focused.
How about the Bob-a-Lot toy – keeps moving – they push and it comes back up, and they have to work out how to get the treats ! This is a good starter interactive dog toy if you have not tried them before
or you could try 3. Dogit 3-in-1 Mind games ( this one is a game to play along with your dog – kids and dogs entertained at the same time, can’t be bad)
4. This is on my wish list of dog interactive toys – I think my French Bulldog, Dinky, would enjoy working this out – hours of fun !
The Nina Ottosson Dog Brick Activity Toy boasts the following…
Part of the Nina Ottosson range of Interactive games, designed to help stimulate and entertain your dog.
The games are great if your dog is bored and being disruptive, as they help occupy his time and his mind.
Each model has a unique mechanism, that requires mental as well as physical dexterity to work through the challenges and reveal hidden rewards.
Each game can be set to different levels of complexity and the games vary in the level of skill required.
The Dog Brick has removable bones that slide across to a wider section of the groove. The dog learns to slide these across to remove the hidden treat – MEDIUM Level. Tough, hard wearing and dishwasher proof.
5. Now, I am not sure if mine would be able to work this out, but if you have clever dogs who need an extra challenge then this is the must interactive dog toy for you
Trixie Dog Strategiespiel Gambling Tower
This involves your dog pulling the platforms in a certain order to get the treats – Do you think your dog is clever enough – challenge on !
Do you give your dog treats ? Do you know what is in your Dog treats ? In this post we look at what could be in the treats you give your dogs and what is a good healthy treat that you could give them instead.
This post started out as a basic review of The Cornish Barkery and the wonderful dog biscuits they bake. They sent us a few different types to try and believe me our lot never turn down a doggie choc chip cookie. They went down a treat. I tried them with my two dogs and so did the guys on our Facebook group All Things Dog
See this review from Jessica from our group…
Or Boris and Deefa who’s mummy posted this photo and said that they like their Cornish Barkery Pork & Basil Sausage Biscuits!To buy click here
So I was going to post that my dogs loved The Cornish Barkery biscuits over all other biscuits, that my dogs would choose these over anything else offered to them, but I have realised that this was not the post I wanted to write. In fact to sell these homemade biscuits to you on the premise that my dogs would eat them over anything else is a lie .. honestly I just caught Dinky Daisy in the field eating sheep pooh ! It’s not the first time – she came in once with a lump of it stuck to the top of her head looking innocent like she had not been munching her way through a pile of the stuff ! So the truth is my dogs will really eat anything from gourmet dog biscuits to pond weed, yes we have had that eaten too. It comes down to what I want my dogs to eat, I am the owner, I need to give them healthy, real food – not chemicals, colouring’s, poor ingredients that can do them harm.
Writing this review, as it started, sent me down a slightly different road to what I had planned. I am now looking at what is in other dog biscuits, compared to these. I started to question why it was that the best before date on the The Cornish Barkery dog biscuits gave me a couple of months but when I looked at a box of supermarket, big brand, dog biscuits they did not go off for a whole year, what’s in a dog food that lets it last that long? Why such a difference?
Think I need to investigate this a bit more…
I love that when I read the ingredients on the The Cornish Barkery that I immediately understood them
Take the Choc Chip Cookies;
wholemeal flour, dog-friendly chocolate chips, water
In this post we look at what foods makes your dogs healthydogs , do you give your dog human food treats, see what foods you can not give your dog and what human foods you can. Make sure you have healthy dog , and the human food that you are giving them is not harming them.
“No, Grace you can not have the doughnut”
How hard is it to say no when the eyes are pleading with you – “pleeeeaaaasssseeee can I have a little bit of what your eating”
Well, I have been looking into what human foods dogs can and can not eat – hopefully I can then come up with some healthy dog treats that I can make at home to replace the shop treats and leftovers off my dinner plate.
It may sound like a huge leap to now start talking about The Animal Welfare Act 2006 but stay with me on this – The PDSA PAW report 2016 looks at the welfare of our pets.
It states that in 2016 the PDSA found that over 4m pets are fed leftovers as part of their main meal – If you are planning to give your dog human food as a treat the advice on is that you should give no more than 5% of their diet, the rest being made up of their own dog food. Information found on pets.webmd
Giving our dogs our leftovers is harming them – they are becoming obese and poorly. So back to the Animal Welfare Act – it gives pet owners 5 welfare needs that have to be met- One of these is ‘the need for a suitable diet’ and another is ‘the need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease’
Here is the extract from The Animal Welfare Act 2006 – why not have a read
Promotion of welfare
9 Duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare
(1)A person commits an offence if he does not take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which he is responsible are met to the extent required by good practice.
(2)For the purposes of this Act, an animal’s needs shall be taken to include—
(a)its need for a suitable environment,
(b)its need for a suitable diet,
(c)its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns,
(d)any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals, and
(e)its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
(3)The circumstances to which it is relevant to have regard when applying subsection (1) include, in particular—
(a)any lawful purpose for which the animal is kept, and
(b)any lawful activity undertaken in relation to the animal.
(4)Nothing in this section applies to the destruction of an animal in an appropriate and humane manner.
So we have a legal responsibility to feed our dogs the correct diet and not contribute through poor diet pain, suffering and disease…I know when I share my bacon sandwich with my dog that it is not good for her, but I think that I am rewarding her, treating her. I am going to change my habit – no more sharing my food with my dogs, I want them to stay well, healthy and active – not obese and having a shortened life span.
Being the owner of a French bulldog and English bulldog, Grace and Dinky Daisy, I have struggled on a daily basis in training them. I took them to puppy classes at my local vets and I was told that they were, what is called ‘food motivated’ – really a posh way of saying that they will not do much unless food is involved, or as I call it greedy!
It is true, Grace will not sit on command for much less than a slice of chicken breast, it appears to be a trade off with her – the better the treat the more she is willing to give… returning when called is a massive trade deal – in this instance she has been known to turn her nose up at most of the shop premium treats. I am the dog owner that is screaming down the field ” Grace..Grace…come back now..no Grace stop rolling in that sheep poo….come on…GRACE IF YOU DO NOT COME BACK NOW I AM LEAVING YOU IN THE FIELD I can feel the look of disapproval of all the other dog owners in the field, as I rummage in my pocket and start waving a dog treat !!!! Then she gives me the look over the shoulder and her eyes say…I will return and stop your embarrassment for a treat… but it has to be something REALLY good… I can’t just rely on commercial treats to train them – I need to look into this and other dog things too
This is why I have started writing Yoga Dogs, I want to be a good dog parent, I am going to do my own research and start looking at All things Dog, So it is time me and my side kicks go out and about and become better…
Please join us on our journey looking at the Important, funny, just plain strange, makes and bakes and reviews to name a few
If like me you are trying to become a better dog guardian / parent then have a look at these training books – might help
Do you worry about the little things in life? Do you worry about what is going to happen in the future ? Why not improve your Mental Health by following the example of dogs. Read on to find steps to improve your Mental health
Sat on the sofa watching my French Bulldog, Dinky Daisy, in front of the fire on her bed, chewing her ‘antler’ toy – a favorite at the moment, it makes me think that she looks so content and happy.
Dinky Daisy – relaxing x
As I sit, I am not completely happy, I always have that worry in the pit of my stomach – what haven’t I done, what should I be doing, I can’t cope with what life is throwing at me, I will not cope with what is coming up…
I am sat thinking that I am looking old, that I should be exercising more – my Joe Wicks book still sat on the shelf. I am sat feeling guilty that I am not a good enough wife, mother, sister and daughter – I haven’t sent my nephew a Birthday card…I should have done that.
I have all the self help books, ‘ overcoming worry’, ‘how to succeed in life’, ‘CBT to help anxiety and depression’ but maybe I am looking in the wrong places to – I look down again at my feet where my French Bulldog is still chewing away stopping just to glance at me with love and happiness in her eyes, well she does also have a little ‘don’t you even think of having my antler bone – it is mine!’ but we will brush past that look – lets stick with the love and happiness look
This may sound completely barking, excuse the pun, but maybe I should learn some lessons from my best friend, Dinky Daisy. I don’t know call it dog mindfulness, becoming more zen dog.
I understand that dogs do not have the pressures that we have as humans, but surely I can learn something from my dog, can’t I ? She is not anxious, depressed, she is confident and happy – so what can I learn from my dog ?
Walking, Running, Exercise
Dinky Daisy needs exercise, she becomes stressed if I don’t take her out for a good old walk in the fresh air – she loves to run and she would be outside all the time if I let her. So how can I use that for improved Mental Health. Well it is a fact that exercise increases the feel good hormones, helps to relax and improves mood. Walking is great and having a dog makes you go out everyday, even if you don’t feel like it, I always feel better after being out on the windy moor where I live.
2. Can sit quietly, completely content
Now this is something I know I can’t do, not like her, she can sit there on the sofa, still, happy, content and quiet – I do everything in my power not to sit with my thoughts as they are not very good company, they are my arch enemy – best if I stay busy. If I sit quietly I will start the self loathing cycle or the worry cycle – why would I want to do that – I can go from ok to feeling useless in less than 60 seconds just by sitting with my thoughts. I should make myself sit quietly for at least 10 minutes, empty my head of the bad thoughts and replace them with thankfulness and appreciation. Yoga meditation is great for practicing this and I have found many free Yoga videos posted online.
3. Staying in the moment
Dogs don’t think in the future, they are in the present, in the moment – worry is mostly about the future…I am going out with friends tomorrow night..great, I am so excited – but wait (let the worry commence), what if I can’t find the new pub we are meeting..Oh god, what if there is not a parking space and I have to parallel park, what if I am not on form and have nothing interesting to talk about..Oh no, I had forgotten about the ‘what am I going to wear nightmare’ I am sure I have put weight on since I last saw them – bet they will think I am looking ugly whatever I put on…and so it goes on – by this point I don’t want to go, I could call and say I have to work late, I have food poisoning…so by thinking about the future I have put myself off from going to what would have been a great night with my best friends. So by not staying in the moment I have not only ruined tomorrow night but also today as I will now spend the next 12 hours worrying, that is a lot of hours to miss what is going on right now.
4. Asking for what she wants with not guilt or embarrassment
Another thing I am terrible at doing, Dinky Daisy lets me know exactly what she wants. she doesn’t go around the houses when asking me to give her a cuddle, a toy, a walk – she lets me know that’s what she wants and needs from me. Me, if I need something I may feel guilty that I need it, afraid to ask in case the answer is no or I am seen as ‘silly’ asking – do you know what I mean? – example – I am feeling low, upset and all I want is some comfort from my husband, I want a cuddle and 5 minutes to explain that I am feeling low and not sure why- so instead of saying something to him I fester, nag about other things, get frustrated and start snapping at those around me, work myself up and get upset about the smallest things. If I changed that into letting those who love me know exactly what I needed and tell them ‘ I woke up feeling not great can I have a cuddle and talk it through for a minute’ he would most likely do it – this could be enough to change the whole day – make me feel supported, listened to and I might even be able to discover what it is that is upsetting me so I can move on from the feelings.
“canines are equipped with a natural instinct to live in the moment, despite having an understanding of the concept of time. It’s that devil-may-care attitude that allows them to forget about what happened yesterday — good or bad — and not worry a bit about what will happen tomorrow.” Click here to find out more
So dogs do have a concept of time, but not in the way us humans do – dogs tend to live in the moment and do not have an instinct to look to the future and worry – I live by the clock, time is either going to fast or slow – usually fast – I worry that I am not going to get everything done in the day – but do I put to much emphasis on time, I understand that we have to clock watch when we have to, for example, get to our jobs, but on those days off – do I really need to clock watch and worry about what I am not doing, and when I am doing something thinking about the other things I should be doing or think I should be doing ! Living in the moment could lessen the anxiety that clocks bring to my life
Dogs play, with out embarrassment, watch your dog play with a ball – pure joy on their part – and fun for us humans to watch. Watch your dog chew at their favorite toy or drag their teddy around – they are completely focused on playing. When dogs are young they play to learn and practice new skills, but they still play when they are adult dogs – to me they continue to play as a release, they enjoy it – Daisy doesn’t care what I or anyone else thinks of her when she plays – Have you seen the TV where it shows wild animals play – why do they do it ? As adults we stop playing, why? Maybe we would feel a whole lot better if we did play – I am not talking all the time – but maybe we should incorporate it into our day – learn to do something we enjoy and do it once a day – live life, to not see playing as a waste of time but as a vital part of having good mental health so we can tackle the harder things that life throws our way…just a thought
6. Have people around you that love you
Dinky Daisy would not be as content and healthy if it was for not of the love of my husband and I – Dogs are only these things when they have a human family who love and care for them. This is the most vital point in her contentment – she has all she needs to flourish into a healthy. well-rounded dog that is provided by us. If this care is withdrawn the dog becomes anxious, aggressive, withdrawn – just look at dogs who have been abused by their owners…same for us as humans – we also need to surround ourselves with people who nourish us for us to flourish.
7. Transparent emotions / show your happiness
When I have been at work all day and I walk through the front door I don’t even get the chance to put my handbag down as Dinky Daisy jumps madly onto me, her bum wiggling ( her attempt to tail wag), running manically around the living room – if she could talk I am sure she would be shouting at the top of her voice …I AM SO HAPPY YOU ARE HOME !!
on the flip side if she is upset, nervous, angry she shows me – she doesn’t hold back showing her emotions, non of this suppressing it – so why do I suppress my emotions ?
After being at work I am happy to be home and see my family, but often this gets buried deep and for some strange reason I will walk through the door and start moaning, either about my day or the mess that is presented to me as I walk in – should it not matter more that I walk in showing the same as Dinky Daisy … you know the…I AM SO HAPPY to be home, that I have a wonderful family and I am now home with them…the human equivalent of the tail wag.
10. Don’t worry or think about what others think if you
Example ; I feel fine leaving the house, I go into town and stop for a coffee – I have mobility problems which means I can walk funny -stiff with a bit of a swingy leg – a woman at the table I walk I think looks at me ‘funny’ – what is she thinking about me? is now all I am thinking about…if she is thinking it everyone else is noticing my swingly leg and thinking I look like like an idiot? I wish I hadn’t come out. Believe me those negative thoughts then start to spiral – bet people I have walked past have thought how fat I am, ugly I am, stupid I am, old…now I am not looking forward to my hot chocolate (with cream and little marshmallows), now I just want to run home and curl up in bed. So what happened – I let my perception of ‘what I think others are thinking of me’ to ruin my day. You know what, I bet that woman in the shop didn’t even look at me, you usually find, if we asked, most people are not looking at you and forming a negative judgement about you – it’s in your head !
11. Don’t judge others on appearance, religion, ethnicity, sexuality and don’t let what others bother you
Dinky Daisy does not judge anyone by what they look like, who their partner is or what they believe – she judges others on how they treat her – Treat Dinky Daisy well and she will love you unconditionally, treat her bad and she will not want to be near you – simple.
She doesn’t look at me sat on the sofa in my PJ’s and thinks oooo she should be dressed by now… no she comes over and wants a cuddle. My friend doesn’t believe in God but I don’t see Dinky Daisy going over and saying – “no don’t tickle my belly as you are a non – believer !” We definitely should learn that from dogs – not the belly rub thing, the non-judgement thing.
These are just a few of my late night thoughts on the subject and I will look at each one in more depth, and might even add some more as I continue to talk to people and read on the subject.
Please if you have any thoughts on this subject or would like to guest blog for me on the subject of Dogs and Mental Health then comment below or contact me via the contact tab.
Use the Table below to see the important days in your girls pregnancy – see below table to get more detailed information
IMPORTANT DAYS OF 63 DAYS OF PREGNANCY
NOTES – please see notes written below table for more detailed information
1st Day start of 1st Month of Pregnancy
1. Count Birth date of puppies from in between 1st and 2nd mating – 63 days
2. Do not increase food for Mum to Be
3.Ultrasound or Blood test to be done
4. Note all bitches show signs of pregnancy
5. If pregnant changes in behaviour
31st Day start of 2nd Month of Pregnancy
6. Feed Mum to Be Puppy food
56th Day last week of Pregnancy
7. Increase food intake for Mum to Be by 1/3 rd
8. Puppies could be born
9. Puppies could be born
10. Puppies could be born
So what most people say when a Dam is having puppies is that it is a “63” day pregnancy – this can be hard to work out with much accuracy. A rule of thumb is to take the 63 day count to start from the date between the 1st mating and 2nd mating of your girl. So a healthy pregnancy is for 2 Months – in puppy development the puppies develop their organs and limbs in the 1st Month and then the pups will use the 2nd Month to grow in size.
In the first Month of Pregnancy you do not need / or should you increase your females food intake, just feed a good quality feed – it is vital that you do not let her increase her fat (weight ) as it will just make it so much harder and lead to more complications when she is giving birth – None of this feeding for 2 or 3 or 4 business then??
On the 28th Day is Ultra Sound Day – You have to wait until 28 days to have a useful Ultra Sound done to see if she is 1. Pregnant and 2. How many puppies she is having because you would not see much before that – Did you know that all Bitches that have come into season think and show signs of being pregnant ? So in the first 30 days all females can have the signs of a. increased appetite, b. laid back behaviour and c. so changes in pecking order if living with other dogs …that explains a lot in our household at the moment – we have 2 females living together, who came into season at the same time, and it is like an episode of War and Peace going on – “I hate you…I love you…” Believe me it is an EPIC drama going on.
It is important to have a scan at 28 days so that you can also see how many puppies she is going to have – why? Well, if there are only a couple of puppies they have more room to grow and will become very large when she is due to give birth – if they grow too big it may be hard for her to give birth without help
If it shows up that she is having a over sized litter then the Bitch may struggle to get enough nutrition to support to produce all healthy pups – she may well need extra nutrition in the form of Calcium ( but do not give this unless advised by vet)
Other than an Ultra Sound your female could have a blood test to test for the pregnancy hormone ‘Relaxin’ – Only Pregnant Bitches would show up Relaxin – but again this can only show up in the blood from 28 days onwards – of course this will only tell you if she is pregnant and not any more info…like how many.
So the changes you could notice in your female dog are
a) Appetite increase
b) A Lower tolerance in exercise – especially in the 2nd month of pregnancy
c) She can become more aggressive to other dogs in the household
d) Can become picky with her food
So this is the start of the 2nd Month of pregnancy and when it comes to food it is suggested that you feed puppy food, this is due to the nutritional concentration being very high , including the all important Calcium – Phosphorus – which is found in puppy food.
In this last week of pregnancy you can increase food intake ( puppy food ) by 1/3 rd – that is all, she will not be able to fit too much food in any way as all room will be taken up with puppies ! Little and often and think quality not quantity as being the most important thing for her.
So prepare for the puppies to be born on any of these days – If she is carrying fewer puppies then more likely to be on days 63/64/65 – if she is carrying lots of puppies then she is likely to give birth early – day 61/62 – It is suggested by experts that to work it out – Every puppy less will add 0.25 days and Every puppy more will reduce days by 0.25
Feel free to print this out and stick it up somewhere to remind you of next steps