The short answer: yes.
The long answer:
Structure is at the heart of communicating with your dog and forming a cohesive bond with them. Understanding your pup's need for structure can solve nearly any behavioral problem your dog struggles with. Simply instilling and sticking to an itinerary for your dog’s daily needs can stave off even the most severe behavioral problems.
Signs your dog needs more of a routine:
- Clinginess and separation anxiety with a single person
- Excessive barking
- Destroying objects
- Territorial behavior
- Leash reactivity
- Aggression towards people
- Problems with housebreaking
Routines reduce stress
Our pupperinos are pack animals. They are wired to depend on the decisions of the alpha—which is now you! This predictability signals to your dog that they are safe. Giving your good boy or girl a routine shows them you’re a reliable leader. They can relax since their needs are taken care of. A dog that knows what’s gonna happen throughout the day is a lot less stressed out.
We’re better off working on becoming better leaders for our dogs than trying to either be too controlling or too lax. Structure creates freedom for our furry friends, and as concerned canine parental figures, it’s our job to use that freedom to create healthy habits for life.
Basic activities dogs need
- Taking walks to relieve themselves
- Drinking water
- Mental stimulation
- Taking walks for leisure
- Good hygiene practices
- Adequate sleep (dogs need 11 hours on average!)
Routine is structure in action. It doesn’t matter when an activity happens. It just matters that it happens at the same time every day. Once you have your schedule, commit to it until it becomes a habit for you and your dog. If your schedule loosens a bit on weekends, keep that consistent as well.
Playtime per diem
Structure should also be cultivated through training and playtime—and these sessions should take place (you guessed it!) at the same exact time every day. Proper training and quality playtime with your pooch teach them communication skills so you may prevent injury to your dog or others. Even just ten to fifteen minutes of having your dog practice sitting with the leash can work wonders for your dog’s confidence and behavior. Make sure your fur child’s hips and joints are in tip-top shape as they train and play, though, by adding an herbal supplement for support to their healthy routine.
A word about work-from-home
Going to a job outside of the home imposes natural boundaries between which your dog’s daily activities occur. Once we start staying at home more, our own schedules might relax, but we must keep things consistent for our beloved creatures of habit. If you work from home or stay at home all day with your dog, it’s extra important to impose a schedule.
If your schedule has changed over the past few years due to the pandemic and your dog is acting out, it could be because their routine changed so much that they became anxious and unsure of how to deal with the change. If your dog struggles particularly with stress and anxiety, as you get them more settled into a predictable rhythm, try giving them CBD to ease the transition.