Hey pawsome Furriends! Are you used to following your pawrents around the house, even to the bathroom???
If so, you’re not alone. I used to think this was normal, but the more I did it the more anxious I became every time mom left the house. I was so used to being near my mom that just the thought of her leaving the house brought me a lot of uncontrollable anxiety and stress.
So, if this sounds familiar, it’s time to get back to basics and create a space you can fall in love with. Because when you have your own space at home, you can just chillax and observe your hooman from the comfort of your own space. By doing so, I’ve learned to become more calm and independent, which in return has lowered my levels of anxiety, no longer making me feel panicked when mom leaves the house.
I know that she always comes back and I love seeing the look on her face when she enters the house and sees me wagging my tail while sitting in my space.
To make it easier, I’ve created a list of all the steps mom took to teach me how to let go and enjoy my space.
Show this list to your pawrents and enjoy the process:
1. Find a comfy bed or mat that fits your pup’s size. You can add a fluffy blanket if it gets cold.
2. Introduce the new space by luring your pup towards it with treats.
3. If you have a stubborn pup, like I was, sit next to the space and wait till your pup is comfortable enough to sit by himself/herself.
4. Once your pup is sitting in his/her space, reward them with a treat and praise, like “Good Boy/Girl”. Stay there for a couple of minutes to ensure your pup is truly enjoying this new experience.
5. When you get up and start walking away, most likely your pup will try to follow you. This is the key moment to turn around and direct him/her towards the mat in a calm manner. Try steps 4 and 5 several times until he/she stays.
6. Start incorporating this new experience into your pup’s life by going to other rooms like the restroom and leaving your pup in his/her space. It also helps to give them a peanut butter filled Kong or their favorite toy. In the summer months you can freeze several Kongs with yummy treats, so you always have one handy.
7. Make sure to account for this training time by adding it to your calendar (10-15 minutes a day). Note that it’s easier to train your pup after he/she had a walk so it might help to incorporate this training time into your day after your walk routine.
8. Get creative and go beyond using just treats for this training, and use mealtime as a reward for doing a good job with their training. For instance if you started with a walk and training you can end with dinner time and finish it off with a heavy cuddling/petting session.
9. It takes time to create a new habit, so be patient and practice every day! Don’t blame your pup for a bad behavior if you haven’t put the time to train them. Regardless of age and background, any pup has the ability to learn new tricks. All it takes is patience, and a consistent routine.
10. Last but not least, BE CALM prior, during and after training. Dogs pick up their pawrent’s energy, so make sure you approach training time from a place of happiness.
This is all folks! As I said many times before, if I could do it, so can you! I’ve got some very stubborn genes, but luckily my mom does too. She persisted every day and soon enough I got it and we are both much happier for it. Best part of it all is seeing my mom’s face flushed with a feeling of accomplishment, so hopefully you are even quicker to learn and can give this joy to your pawrents too.
We are all at different stages, so don’t worry about the other dogs, just focus on your journey and have fun in the process!
Love & Paws,