Dog Training and Hurricane IKE

Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted.  We just got internet back today from our internet provider Comcast.  How I feel about that is a whole other story! 

Hurricane Ike really hit us hard.  We were without power for 3+ weeks and it was very hot and humid.  It was hard on us, but equally as hard on our dogs.  Leila and I both knew that it was going to be important to keep things as close to normal for our dogs as possible to reduce their stress.  Here’s what we did:

We practiced the dog training commands they knew so that all the dogs got lots of praise and heard lots of “Good Dog!”  We kept to their regular schedules as best we could.  We fed at the same time, we took walks at the same time.  In fact they got lots of walks to ease their boredom, manage their energy and also to keep us from going nuts with no electricity, no air conditioning!

The only thing we could not keep the same was our sleeping arrangements.  We were sleeping on a Aero bed in the den where we had lots more windows to get what little bit of outside air we could.  Usually our dogs all sleep in their respective dog beds in our bedroom.  The first night they were all very disconcerted and out of sorts.  They paced, they whined, they nudged, they panted.  We kept our emotional energy out of it and just ignored them or simply told them to lay down on their beds that were now in the den. 

What was interesting is that because the Aero bed was on the floor, on their level, the dominant dogs did a double take and your could hear them asking themselves “hmm, they’re down here with us, did they give up being alpha?”  A couple of times our lab Sammy tried to stake his territory right in the middle of the bed, but soon gave us as we kept making him go back to his bed.

The moral of the story is quite simple, dogs do well with consistency, even in the worst of times AND, they are very quick to pick up when you put yourself in a position of less authority – on the floor.

We sure are happy to have power and internet back.  The dogs are all back on their respective dogs beds and all is right in our dog training world.

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