Multitasking is the buzz word you hear everyday. We are all trying to accomplish more tasks in the shortest amount of time. I am as guilty as the rest when it comes to doing this. However, I’ve been reading about the importance of being in the moment with your dog and spending time together without any added distractions and I believe this is really important to your well being as well as your pet.
How many people take 5-10 minutes a day for themselves without distractions (including cell phones, TV, electronic devices, children and even significant others)? Just taking 5-10 minutes to meditate, relax, stretch or reflect on the day is a hard goal to master but I am going to encourage everyone to try this in the next 30 days. November is the month to be thankful for all we have so can we carve out a minimum of 5 minutes to relax, reflect and enjoy all we have.
Now I believe this also applies to our pets. I can’t count the number of times I go outside and throw the ball for my dog, check a few emails and face book on my I-phone, throw the ball again, repeat… I don’t think my dog knows I am really with her and I am not really enjoying our time together. I have made it a goal of mine to go outside for puppy playtime without my cell phone anymore. I can give each dog my undivided attention, be full on with Ginger while we pay fetch, and just enjoy their personalities and our time together. It really has made a difference in how they respond to me and how excited they are when they receive undivided attention from me. (And yes they deserve this attention during all four seasons- so I will grab an umbrella, rain jacket, long underwear, boots, hats, gloves, etc).
I think the fast paced world we live in makes it difficult to train as well. We live in an instant gratification society. I know if I have to wait more than 3 seconds for a picture to download, I will move on to the next message (and I am a patient person by nature but technology just makes me want everything immediately). This also applies to training and not pushing your dog too far too fast. Set realistic and measureable goals and set your dog up to succeed. Teach your dog to sit and down the first week. When you teach stay, don’t expect to get across the room on the first try. The goal with any training exercise or activity is to help your dog when they do not understand. Teach them what you want and if they don’t understand, try using another method to help them. Dogs are like people in that they learn and process information differently.
I think for just a few minutes every day I am calmer, my blood pressure goes down and I just feel more relaxed and ready to enjoy my day. I encourage everyone to take the month of November to be in the moment with your dog and share what you did to enjoy your dog’s experiences.