Important Jobs for Companion Dogs are essential even if he is not a service dog. A companion dog can be trained to help with daily routines or we can create a unique job just for him. This article will discuss how to choose the best jobs based on four key ideals. Next we will explore ‘simple versus complex’ jobs which can be taught over time.
Important Jobs for Companion Dogs Four Key Ideals Checklist
This is the list of Four Key Ideals to consider when you are choosing a job for your dog.
Ask yourself: Is the job you are assigning to your pet…
- A routine task.
- Age and strength appropriate.
- An important task.
- A safe task.
Important Jobs for Companion Dogs Four Key Ideals Summary
This is a summary of why each of the Four Key ideals are important.
Routine is an important consideration for every aspect of your dog’s day. The time for meals, play, going outside, and other daily events are looked forward to and he has the opportunity to think about the skills he will be using in each of the events of his day. A daily job to do will be more satisfying when it is at an anticipated time of day as well.
Age and Strength Appropriate
Is the job assignment appropriate for his age and his strength?
Age: Puppies will have a shorter attention span than an older dog will have. When a job has multiple tasks it may be more complex than a puppy would be able to take responsibility for. However with adult supervision a puppy can do jobs such as going to another room to bring you a item you need for a task you are modeling to teach him when he is older.
Strength: While it is possible for a dog to do some heavy work, anything over strenuous should be approached with additional training (for pet and handler) as well as a health checkup and monitoring by his healthcare professional. Think about the process you might go through when you plan to start a workout routine at the gym. You would want to have a skilled coach to help you ease into the workout routine. You would want your coach to monitor and advise you each stage of the process. Similarly it is important to provide your dog with a professional team when heavy work is an option for him.
Is the job you are assigning to your dog an important job? This is important to consider because the job will contribute to your home’s daily routine and being important you will consistently remember to show appreciation for the work.
Absolute safety is essential so your pet will be able to perform his job without injury. If there are complicated obstacles, or anything in the environment which could cause harm, remove them if at all possible or train him to maneuver properly so he will avoid the unsafe circumstances.
Important Jobs for Companion Dogs Task Complexity
Simple versus Complex Tasks
A few simple tasks, one at a time (one or two word simple instructions) are easier for a younger dog to learn and incorporate into his job tasks. As he gets a bit older (12-14 weeks) he can gradually begin to tackle more complex tasks (a couple of extra steps in a row to complete the job). Each time you add a new step in the process of the job you can gradually let him do the new step in the work.
New Task Phase Summary
Take the process gradually over a period of time (10 days for example), and repeat for each new skill or step in a task you are training him to do. Move gradually through the stages and be patient as he improves each step of the way.
- Show him how to do what you are asking him to do.
- Assist him in completing the task.
- Watch him complete the task unassisted.
Example: In the beginning you are taking on most of the work, and showing your pet each step as you go along. As time goes by you will assist him with the new task. Later you will allow him to do the first step with supervision. As time goes by give him another step in the process as you are slowly transfer the job over to him.
What are important jobs for a companion dog? We’d love to hear what information we can provide for you in helping to raise your puppy or keeping your dog healthy and happy.