MemberAugust 19, 2018 at 4:52 am109
To echo Alex’s thoughts
Time management is obviously the crucial piece, living your life as well as providing a meaningful and fulfilling existents is definitely tricky some days.
Implementing a plan for the week is how I roll, and I will test and adjust as the days go by, exercise routine is super important for me, and it is set in stone no matter what.
If there are a few things MY dogs can always depend on from me it is:
• I will always feed and water them
• and I will always exercise them, both mentally and physically
In my line of employment, scent work is renowned for being taxing in effort, either tracking/trailing or specific target odour detection.
How I manage my time within the Section/Squad is I PUT IN THE HOURS, I get in before everyone and I leave last, if the guys are having or experiencing issues with their dogs I will priorities the tasks as required and always give them the time, even if it’s a simple word document with a list of thoughts and diagnosis techniques they can mull over in their own time.
I have 2 dogs at home (CODA & KELL), also 1 EDD I’m teamed with (HERA) and 7 EDD/handler teams to manage. Most of my guys are self-sufficient and managing them is easy, they are driven and are mostly on the right path, a few are lazy and meet the minimum requirements and will need guidance.
Now that’s work life…..at home I have a beautiful wife and 2 awesome children Lyla 3, and Liam 1. They are my priority and together we’ve managed to work out a great schedule. I pair my home dog time in with the children which is the best I can do for now, we go for walks together and the 2 dogs get their exercise and engagement with me and the kids. I conduct maintenance training them when the kids are taking a nap, and after dinner time I do some one on one.
CODA (the Rotti) is the guard dog full stop, she fulfils her time being ruthless at the fence which I have absolutely no problem with, KELL my retired EDD sits at the fence and spits his ball over the other side to walkers passing by in an attempt to coerce them over. Weird situation for the walkers, I will often watch and muse.
Dave, what I’ve discovered in the past is that trying to burn dogs out via too much irrelevant exercise or tasks can 1) potentially injure them or 2) make them stronger and more driven in the areas your trying to sap.
I feel it’s finding a balance between what you think they want to do and what they actually need to do.
I try to manage my home dog’s energy level and sustain them adequately via an enriching diet and basic exercise.
Dogs will keep themselves busy some way or another, and for me it’s a matter of identifying the behaviour or shortfall and implementing a plan to counter the outlet and express it some way else or productive for us both.
An example I have is the Day runs at work (fenced off area for dogs to use safely) were perfectly flat, lush and green, I put HERA in one during the morning routine and immediately she starts making tracks everywhere in every direction, and I’m not talking about your average dog running track, these are special Malinois speedway burns that have totally ruined the grass and turned it into dust and stone.
As a result, during the search tasks I found her energy levels were zapped.
So, the plan I implement is no more day run in the morning as she keeps herself busy, burns calories and stresses out unnecessarily, to find relief she expresses it via storm trooping around tearing up the yard.
So, in the morning I switch it up and we do short exercise drills, quick agility course or simple ball retrieves 30mins max.
Then I crate her awaiting the work for the day.
Scenario based search work 40-60mins.
In the afternoon, scent work again (discrimination) or walk 30-40min.
This routine has given her stability and keeps her clear headed for the priority tasks, and her energy levels are sustained. I will however switch the search based routine up variably to prevent trends or patterns.
From your description, you provide your dogs with bulk physical and mental stim, I like that your dabbling in scent work also. Finding time is a juggling act for sure I’ve begun offering dog training services at the local shelter and dog park 2 nights per week for some professional development.
So basically, it’s just the ability to manage and be opportunistic of the time on hand.
Some days though I definitely put my feet up and have a beer!!!!