Every dog needs some kind of work. Of course, expecting Fido to pull survivors from a burning building might be a bit too ambitious! Rest assured, there are plenty of tasks that need doing around the house, and your pet is the perfect pooch for the job.
Not sure why dogs get so restless without tasks? Take a look at the logic behind transforming your pooch into a working dog.
The benefits of assigning your dog tasks
Dogs are intelligent creatures and need daily mental stimulation. Owners often envy their pets, wishing they were the ones who get to do nothing all day. In reality, you might not actually want that—you’d be bored out of your mind! Many pups feel the same way and need to exercise their brains as much as their bodies. Giving dogs a task to complete engages their intelligence and provides them with an opportunity to impress their loving owners.
Jobs give dogs a sense of purpose. Dog trainers agree that teaching canines how to complete tasks significantly improves their mood, behavior and quality of life. Contrary to what some owners believe, a dog who’s spoiled and gets everything they want is often the unhappiest. Dogs feel their best when they can do owners a favor because jobs are a sign that they’re needed.
Jobs also help fix behavioral problems like aggression and uncontrollable excitement. All jobs require rules and structure, whether it’s saving lives or practicing basic commands. No job means your dog is free to do whatever they want. If you try to lay down the law, they might lash out. Training your dog to complete even the simplest tasks shows you’re in control, and when you ask the dog to do something, you expect them to obey.
Additionally, every task comes with some amount of exercise, which is necessary to burn off all that energy. Dogs need an outlet after being confined to a crate or room all day, whether it’s a training session, an obstacle course or brain puzzles. Working a dog’s mind and body is essential for overall health and preventing the onset of chronic illnesses. Regular exercise will also help solve behavioral problems because dogs won’t feel the urge to sprint around the house or jump on every human they see.
Jobs for the average pup
When people think of working dogs, they often visualize police dogs who can sniff out drugs or service dogs who guide the blind. As necessary as these dogs are, your own pooch doesn’t have to go above and beyond to lead a fulfilling life. Let’s face it—not all dogs are cut out for that kind of work, anyway! For the average pooch, anything can be a job, from practicing basic commands to retrieving your favorite pair of slippers.
Make chores around the house a bit more fun by asking your pup to help out. Let’s say you’re carrying a load of laundry to the washer and accidentally drop a shirt on the floor. Train your dog to pick up the clothes and carry them to the laundry room. You could also have them stay by your side as you wheel trash bins to the curb. Simply teaching a dog to follow you when told to do so will make them feel like your four-legged assistant!
Some pups become experts at retrieving household objects. Instead of chewing on the remote, teach your dog to bring it to you. This command has the added bonus of teaching dogs that your possessions are not their chew toys. If your dog needs to burn some pent-up energy, throw a tennis ball in the backyard and ask them to bring it back to you. Praise your dog for retrieving the object, and soon enough, they’ll look forward to completing the task time and time again.
Even the smallest tasks can give your dog a sense of purpose. When you get home from work, spend a few minutes brushing up on their basic commands. Ask your dog to sit, stay, come, lay down, roll over—anything that’s in their arsenal. Teach your pup new tricks every once in a while to challenge them and put on a show for guests. That way, your dog can get praise from a whole crowd of people!
Dogs love to please humans. Do your pooch a favor and give them a chance to please you, too. Assigning jobs is key to raising a healthy, well-mannered dog—not to mention all the extra help you’ll get around the house. Pups don’t need much in return. All they ask for is your undying love and devotion.