Mentally tired and physically tired
I spent the day helping Mum with her job by being a stooge dog for other dogs that struggle being near or meeting strange dogs. I am not strange of course, which helps, but I think it’s more about a new dog that they don’t know. That said, how that dog behaves will influence how they react to and feel about the situation so it’s all related. I don’t tend to jump out and give them to dog equivalent of “boo” so am considerably useful to Mum. I walked around for 1 hour in the morning so that the dog we were working with could get used to a dog being nearby without any social pressure. He did very well apparently. It was sunny so I got quite hot and I was in a new environment so it was a bit exciting/stressful too! Did I have to do much? No.
Next I had a break before going for another 30 minute walk with a lovely blond (canine) who struggles with dog meetings after one bit her. A small one too. Little blighter went for her ankle/wrist … a long way down when you are a medium to large dog. Pah! Coward. Anyway she is all recovered physically but unfortunately some mental scars remain. We had a lovely walk … she seemed to be getting more cheese than me … I will have to talk to Mum about that. Again, she did really well and her owners have lots of ideas of how to help her going forward. It helps if the dogs she meets are not big, in your face boisterous types with no social skills. I am not that dog.
Once home, Mum was prepared to take me for a run around… but I was so tired I collapsed into my bed and slept until it was pigs ear time. Phew I was tired … but more than just physically tired … I was brain tired. I had a busy day learning, responding, watching, listening and being in new potentially stressful situations. Please don’t under estimate the effects of mental tiredness. The same can be said of dogs that visit rest homes or do other quite intense social work… you think they can’t be tired because they haven’t run around but we can be tired because we have been working. I like going with Mum to work … she gives me special treats usually reserved for bed time.
Training, exercising somewhere new, combining exercise with learning and doing a social job for a few hours all lead to mental and physical tiredness. Sometimes this is more effective at calming a dog and zonking them out than pure physical exercise which can sometimes leave you wired (Springer Spaniels…). Ahem.
Happy hounding!!! and get those brains working for a great night’s sleep!!
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