The Essential Guide to Setting a Schedule for Your Dog

Welcome to the ultimate guide on setting a schedule for your furry friend! Whether you're a new puppy parent or looking to revamp your dog's routine, establishing a structured schedule is crucial for their well-being and behaviour. Dogs thrive on predictability and consistency, and by implementing a schedule, you'll create a harmonious environment that sets them up for success.


Why Set a Schedule?

Before diving into the specifics, let's explore why setting a schedule is so important for your dog's overall health and happiness. Similar to humans, dogs benefit from routine in various ways:

  • Mental Stimulation: Routine activities such as training sessions, enrichment games, and sniffari walks provide essential mental stimulation, keeping your dog’s olfactory bulb engaged and helping tire them out!
  • Physical Exercise: Structured exercise routines help your dog stay physically fit, maintain a healthy weight, and release pent-up energy. Physical exercise = adrenaline and endorphins, therefore, it’s good to follow physical activity with a mental enrichment game to help calm them down.
  • Behavioral Stability: Consistency in daily activities helps dogs feel secure and confident, leading to better behaviour and fewer instances of anxiety or stress.
  • Bonding Opportunities: Scheduled activities, such as training sessions and playtime, strengthen the bond between you and your dog, fostering a deeper connection and mutual trust.

Now, let's delve into the components of a well-rounded schedule for your canine companion.

Morning Routine:

Start the day with a sniffari walk! Allow your dog to explore the world through their nose. While it's essential to let them sniff to their heart's content, ensure a safe environment by keeping a close eye on their surroundings, especially for puppies! Garbage day is the worst!!

After the walk, engage your dog in breakfast enrichment activities to stimulate their mind and encourage problem-solving. Following breakfast, you can do some short, circuit training or crate training which will help them settle down for a morning nap, providing much-needed rest to recharge for the day ahead.

Midday Activities:

After nap time, incorporate short training sessions throughout the day to reinforce commands, and obedience and keep your dog mentally sharp. Remember, consistency is key, so aim for brief, frequent sessions rather than lengthy ones.

Following training, engage in physical activities like tug-of-war or fetch to get your dog moving and burn off excess energy. End the session with an enrichment game to promote mental relaxation and prevent overstimulation.

Evening Routine:

In the evening, mixing some physical exercise with some mental exercise will help to tire out your dog before bedtime. Evenings can be tough for puppies. The “witching hour”, when it seems your puppy likes to sneak up on you with shark attacks, can be frustrating.  Keeping them on a house leash can help to redirect those attacks.  

Before bed, use the quiet time to work on body desensitization, gradually acclimating your dog to grooming tasks like brushing and paw handling. Positive reinforcement, such as treats or a licky mat, can make the experience more enjoyable for your furry friend.

Closing Thoughts:

Setting and adhering to a schedule may require time and effort, but the benefits for your dog are well worth it. By providing structure, mental stimulation, and bonding opportunities, you'll create a fulfilling life for your canine companion while strengthening your bond along the way. So, grab your planner and start crafting a schedule that suits both you and your dog's needs – you'll both thank you for it in the long run!

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