Q: l spend awesome quality time with my dog when we snuggle on the sofa watching tv together. Other than that, what else do you recommend l do with my dog?
A: Spending quality time with your dog is not the same as coddling or snuggling with your dog.
When l think of quality time, l think of spending time to train my dog, walk my dog, and play with my dog.
These activities can challenge my dog, educate my dog, and encourage my dog.
They are “quality” because they can enhance my relationship with my dog while helping my dog to reach his/her full potential.
When l think of whether an activity is “quality”, l ask myself two questions:
—will this nurture attentiveness? (i.e. Will my dog learn to pay closer attention to me and really want what l have even under heavy distraction?)
—will this help my dog to have a better state of mind? (i.e. If my dog is very anxious, will this help him to have better impulse control and know how to relax? If my dog is very fearful, will this help him to gain more trust and confidence?)
If you want to enhance and deepen your relationship with your dog, if you want your dog to reach his full potential and live the happiest life possible, you may want to ask yourself these questions, too.