Visions of sugarplums inspired this episode.
Today, you will learn some ways to wear out your dog so that she sleeps (and DREAMS) like a champ.
- This episode was triggered by thoughts of the popular poem: “A Visit From St. Nicholas.”
- The part that says: “The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums dances in their heads.”
- So do dogs dream?
- Science says yes.
- Most of the research I saw says that they not only dream, they also dream very similarly to us.
- Their dreams consist of past experiences. So, if you have a hunting dog that has never hunted, it is not dreaming of fetching the fowl or treeing the raccoon.
- This is something I believe to be true as well.
- I have seen it first hand with all of the dogs I have been close to.
- I have witnessed Molly actually running in her sleep.
- Just a few days ago, Oz had been growling out the window at the neighbors dog and later I heard him doing it again only to look at him and see that he was lying on the couch facing the other way and his eyes were shut (actually they were open and rolled back into his head.)
- In past shows, we talked about how much time a dog sleeps on average.
- This is most of the day.
- Dogs do need their sleep and I personally think that getting into the dream stage for a dog, as well as humans, is a good level of sleep.
- It shows that your dog is comfortable and trusting.
- Personally, I don’t think there is a question as to whether or not dogs dream.
- The question is whether or not you should wake your dog, and whether or not dogs have good or bad dreams.
- Dream sleep is good sleep and I think you should never wake a person or a dog when they are dreaming. This is normal for both and waking up in the midst of a dream creates broken sleep, which is unhealthy.
- Good or Bad dreams?
- I do think dogs have both and only from stories I have heard from others.
- I am sure my dogs have had bad dreams and yet I do not see, or know, of any bad effects from bad dreams.
- If you feel you must wake your dog from a dream, then you should be very gentle.
- Only use your voice, no touch.
- Make sure your dog wakes in a safe and comforting environment.
- Once awake, don’t get real excited let them continue to wake up on their own.
- Again, my suggestion is you leave them alone to dream.
This week you are going to wear out your dog so that she sleeps well.
- Dogs need their sleep. Getting good REM sleep will be a great way to keep your dog healthy and in a good mood.
- For your homework this week, I want you to try each of the following exercises and then observe what works best. Also, try a combination of any of the following suggestions. I remember wondering if I would ever wear Gabby out, especially when it came to throwing the ball for her. It worked best when I did a combination of walks, workouts, and ball throwing.
In your house:
- If you have stairs, run (or walk) your dog up and down the stairs.
- This is not a normal action for a dog and requires some concentration.
- If your dog will fetch the ball, throw the ball down the stairs for her to bring back.
- Be careful of that overly-rambunctious dog on the steps.
- Set up an easy obstacle course or play hide and seek.
- Set things in a hall that your dog has to go over or around or go into a different room or a closet and keep calling your dog until she finds you.
- When I would hear my dog come into the room I was in, I would stop calling until she either found me or when she walked out of the room I would start calling again.
- In these games, do not make the obstacles or finding you impossible.
- Teach your dog to walk on the treadmill.
- Do basic obedience commands then add a new one to work on every two to three months.
- I taught my dog to sit from a DOWN.
- Tam taught her dog to PLACE from over 15 feet away.
- I had a client that taught their dog “BANG” and the dog would roll over and play dead.
- Other ideas: Toy on a stick, blow bubbles, make your dog go from one person to another for a long period of time, use puzzle toys, or hide food for foraging.
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