Surrounded by my dogs early morning while I type away in bed is one of my greatest moments.  We had a good night and Jessie is resting on my feet.  Its been a couple of very rough weeks with this Dementia; and working into a routine that works has been difficult.  Hopefully we have found the right combination to have a bit more smooth sailing for a while.

Routine can be a good thing or a bad thing.  It all depends on who is involved.  Some dogs thrive on routine, they know what to expect and like things as they should be.  Fall slightly out of the norm and they become nervous or anxious.  Others may become so set in their ways that they keep you on a time clock.  While other dogs can become painfully bored with routine and need a more scattered, random type life.  I like loose routine, switching things up every so often is a good thing.  Even for those type of dogs who seem to need routine, change can be a good thing.

I've seen dogs who become aggressive if they are not fed on time; hmmm like some men I know.  Others who expect a walk at 8:00 am every morning and if you happen to be busy, they will pester you and drive you mad. So you need a happy medium; casual routine.  When you add change, something different, a new twist to a routine day it helps your dog deal with more change.  I like change, I don't like to walk in the same park everyday or at the same time even.  If I happen to do something on a regular basis it's usually due to traffic, weather or convenience. 

But some routines like sleeping through the night are good routines.  This is the problem we are in right now.  Many puppies like to convince their new owners that they just can't sleep through the night.  You can spin into an awful routine of getting up with them every night, not good.  Often a behavior is hard to get rid of once it is set so keep your eyes open for new undesirable behaviors forming.  Unfortunately our non sleeping issue is due to Dementia and finding the right medication so that Jessie can sleep through the night is where we are at.

  Eating is a biggy; I have never had a routine feeding time.  Sometimes the dogs eat before me, other times after.  Exercise factors in when I feed my dogs; much more so than a time clock.  I do not want my dogs barking at me because it is past their feeding time.  And feeding itself can be routine or not, sometimes I just take a bowl full of food outside and toss it.  They actually love this and I feel that I am able to tap their inner canine when I feed this way.  Many times when Luke won't eat I'll toss his food, it triggers the prey drive in him and he will chase his food down and eat it. 

But even more than routine or no routine; a dog needs leadership.  If your dog is accustom to following your lead; then routine or no routine won't have such a huge impact.  But switch it up, too much routine for anyone makes for a boring life.

1 comment:

  1. Routine can be a good thing,but what happens when a dog is getting up in years and a person they love dearly decides to move out and the this person comes and takes only part of the pack and leaves with them and they are gone for days and then come back and they never takes them?In this house it is causing big time anxiousness and even destructive behavior ,they are 11 and love this person very much,they have even aged more quickly than they should.We try rides and exercise,but no help yet.I have even brought their crate back out and they haven't used it since they were puppies.
    When an 11 year routine is broken it causes problems that even a death would not cause.


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