Just like people, our dogs have their happy-go lucky friend who isn't so eager to share. Eventually you might find yourself feeling ignored and cut off from the relationship while spending less time with them - eventually it can become too much work! Nobody wants a one-sided partnership; same goes for your furry friends that need love, choice and stimulation just as much as we do...
We like to think of our lives with our dogs as being a bit like a bank account; we can make deposits to build up our credit or we can make withdrawals that might even send us into debt. Ideally, we want a nice healthy balance so that when we do need to make a withdrawal we don’t end up with a negative balance. When we are in relationship credit our dogs are more likely to want to hang out with us and more likely to follow our cues.
Deposits are easy to make into our relationship account. We can feed our dogs tasty meals, treats and chews – we can even give our dogs the luxury of choice by giving them a variety of options and letting them choose their favourite. We can provide enrichment puzzles to our dogs and enjoy them together making sure that they are fun rather than frustrating. Spending time with our dogs either just cuddling on the sofa or out and about can also be a great way to build up our credit. When we are out on walks we can find ways to interact and play with our dogs by using the ideas in our Wonder Walks courses.
If we take a look at our dog’s lives, we may find that there are some regular withdrawals that we can stop making. Perhaps our dog is irritated by wearing a collar with a dangly identity tag – can we swap for a flexitag
that doesn’t make noise or constantly wiggle around, we could even give our dogs some naked time when they don’t wear their collar. Do we ever take our dogs to places that they don’t particularly care for? Is there an alternative place we could go or could our dog stay at home? In the longer term if we have something like claw clipping that our dog isn’t a fan of we can teach them to use a scratch board or invest in teaching them that claw clipping isn’t so scary.
The relationship between a pet and their family is an emotional one that can sometimes lead to difficult situations. One way of avoiding the struggles associated with withdrawals may be planning some extra deposits into our account so we don't become "that" friend whose dog just doesn’t really want anything more than hanging out together on occasion!
Dogs need their people just as much as we need our dogs. Just like in any relationship, it’s important to have give and take. If you find yourself feeling ignored or neglected by your furry friend, it might be time for a break. Spend some time apart and reassess how you can better balance your time together so that it’s fun and enjoyable for both of you.
Remember making deposits into your dogs account will help get your companionship back on track!