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Being "boring" could be the best thing for your dog!

Updated: Jul 19, 2023


 It will simply talk about how controlled, well-timed, and consistent periods of low-energy interactions with your pup might make a world of difference for you and help to resolve some quite common household problems that trainers see all the time. Being "boring" could be the best thing for your dog!
Let sleeping dogs lay.

Let me start with this, this article is not going to tell you that you shouldn’t be having fun with your dogs, being excited to see them, playing with them, etc. It will simply talk about how controlled, well-timed, and consistent periods of low-energy interactions with your pup might make a world of difference for you and help to resolve some quite common household problems that trainers see all the time. Being "boring" could be the best thing for your dog!


To illustrate the point a little bit more clearer, let’s discuss some common scenarios!


Scenario 1: Coming Home from Being Out


We have all been there at one point or another, coming home to your pup at home and they are super excited to see you, and you are excited to see them! This often results in the dog doing some or all of the following, jumping, barking/whining, urinating, running around the house with “zoomies” and more, which over time can develop and become difficult to manage. This is the perfect example of a time in which you can use a controlled period of “boring” to manage the dog’s expectations about what it means when a member of the family comes home.


Simply put, an exercise that you can do is walk into your house, ignore your dog, place your keys down on the bench, maybe take off your shoes or another small routine for only a minute or two when you arrive home, before saying hello to your dog. This is a wonderful way to train the dog that being hyperactive when you arrive home does not bring the reward to them faster.


In this way, through repetition, the dog begins to learn that the sound of the key in the door, or the car in the driveway does not mean they immediately need to jump at the door and bark and so on because the result and reward for them remains the same. It may also stop you needing to correct them first thing when you get home, so that it can remain a positive experience for everyone.



Scenario 2: Getting Ready for a Walk

Very similarly it is common that when we as owners pick up our pup's lead, insanity ensues, and often it is hard to reign our furry friends back in before we set out on our walk, which in turn, results in a difficult walk, with plenty of pulling on the lead. This has a ripple effect and due to our dog’s heightened states, they may become more reactive to stimuli they come across on the walk!

Dogs are creatures of habit and routine and again, this is about using a perfectly timed moment of “boredom” for the dog, to control their expectations around what the start of a walk looks like, which sets you up for success on the walk itself.


An example exercise is as follows. When you are not planning to go for a walk, pick up your dog’s lead and move it to another bench, or walk around the house with it for a little bit, again ignoring your dog’s reaction to your movements. Then again, without acknowledging them, put the lead back where it was and go back about your day. After that is done, let one or two minutes pass, and then feel free to have a play with them! You can use this exercise for any object your dog reacts to you interacting with.

You can expand on this by sometimes clipping it onto your dog and just walking them around the house and then taking it off, or by clipping it on and walking to the front door or gate and then going back inside.

The above two scenarios provide a couple of examples of a very important principle of dog training and routine. However, it is important to note that every family and situation is different, and it can certainly be understood that people may like their dogs reacting in these ways, however, this advice is for those that may be trying to control it a little bit or are struggling.


If you would like to talk further about this or need to organize some training for your pups, give us a call or send us a message!

Good luck with your training!


Christian Bonney

Bonnies Dog Obedience and Puppy School


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