As someone with four dogs I can attest to the fact that my dogs make me smile every day. However, there are also times when I need a break from them, and I imagine, there are times when they prefer not to be bothered by me as well.
Occasionally, even a dog lover needs a timeout from their dogs. I was reminded of that yesterday when a service man made a call to my house. When he arrived I put Tosha and Elbee in their crates and gated Gavin and Annie in the back room. As the service man was doing his job, Jackie and I were both working and at one point it dawned on me how quiet it was in the house. Even my Aussie Gavin, who is so enamored with his own voice that he never gets tired of hearing it (something I believe many Aussie owners can attest to), settled down and was quiet. As I contemplated the silence for a moment I said to Jackie “You know we should do this more often.”
I work from home and while this affords me a lot of time with the dogs, it does distract from my work from time to time. I admit that sometimes I need to be reminded to get up from the computer and go for a walk or kick soccer balls. However, sometimes I need to have some peace and quiet to do my work in. With 4 dogs there is always competition for attention, toys, and various other things and sometimes my ability to concentrate is just not up to the task.
So why not have a timeout a regular and routine occurrence? For one thing, it will make the necessary timeouts less stressful for the dogs as it becomes the routine and not the extraordinary. Another reason is that it gives the dogs a break from each other. Four dogs equals constant competition for something. Because the dogs have different energy levels and personalities they aren’t all in the same mood at the same time. Separating them gives them needed down time from each other and reduces the need to keep score of who has what.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you need timeouts away from your dogs? If you have multiple dogs do they need timeouts from each other? What kind of timeouts do you practice? Do you see a difference in the dogs attitude towards you and each other after the timeout? Tell us what you think.
Kevin, Jackie, Gavin, Annie, Tosha, Elbee