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I Have a Lazy Dog



‘I have a lazy dog, he doesn’t want to get up and come out for a walk in the morning. If I force him, he just clings to ground and doesn’t budge,’ cribs a dog owner.
The first question that comes to mind is ‘Are dogs really lazy or they acquire the trait?’ To some extent dogs do acquire laziness. I will explain later in this narrative. Normally a healthy dog is bouncing with energy and wants to play, run, wallop in the garden, and chase butterflies and what not. It is a sick dog that prefers to sleep in the dark corners of the house, does not want to be disturbed, hates noise and light and does not eat food.
Before calling your dog lazy you must therefore first make sure that he is not sick. A vet will certainly help you to find that out. If the dog is not sick, then you have to consider his age and condition too. Suppose you have a ten year old Labrador retriever, he is already a geriatric dog and would not like boisterous games. He would love a short walk in the morning and evening and at best play a game of Fetch a few times. Similarly if you have a bitch and she is in advanced stage of pregnancy she will certainly avoid games like running or chasing a ball. Yet another age when dogs sleep a lot is in their puppyhood. A four months’ Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may play a bit and thereafter sleep like a log for two hours. He will get up, whimper to be taken out, do his job and come back and sleep again. Like our infants, puppy too sleeps a lot. Gradually his hours and type of sleep change.
Dogs have a great gift of nature. They can sleep for few minutes and then become fresh and alert in an instant. Even in deep sleep their hearing and nostrils remain almost awake.
I feel most of the times a dog reflects his master’s habits. If the master is active and playful, the dog too is boisterous. But if the master is lazy, dogs picks up the cue very fast. In homes where everyone gets up late, their adult dog too begins to enjoy his morning naps and continue to sleep. As a pup the same dog may be waking up everyone early as his bladder muscles are not strong enough to hold his urge. Once they become strong he to beings to enjoy his sleep. Such dogs tend to become obese, which is a worst situation for a dog.
A fit dog, if not willing to come out of his slumber indicates there could be problem with his psyche. For example some pets dread the noise and presence of other dogs on the street. And if taken out on a leash they cling to the ground near the gate. Such dogs are often shy and need to be handled with care. Socializing them gradually and making them accustomed to new sounds and smells daily helps.
Socializing though sounds easy, it is a painstaking process. Because you don’t know what your dog is scared off. For example his hearing and smelling powers being highly specialized he knows even while inside the house that there is a giant brute sitting right in front of the gate. You try to cajole/drag him to come out but he sticks to the ground like a lizard. Therefore first try to find out the real and imaginary fears your dog has. Some dogs are scared of sounds of traffic and thunder while others cringe at the site of a dog on the street. Many are scared of human feet around. Yes try to place your head at the height of the dog’s and then see the jungle of feet around you. Scary isn’t it?
Despite domestication dog is an animal and always carries the instinct of fear which saves him all the times from the predators. Thus their imaginary fears are the predators. Which are not around still he is scared of them
Armed with this information now start the socializing process slowly, gradually and step by step. On day one take him only up to the gate. Make him sit and if you feel you may also sit with him and distract him by talking to him in most soothing tones. After that bring him back and reward him with a tidbit. On day two follow the same procedure but increase the duration of remaining at the gate. Reward should always follow. On day three, jump the line go outside the gate on the sidewalk but not more than three four steps. Again talk to him with all the honey in your tone. Walk him back and reward him.
Finally you should reach a stage within few days that your dog walks with you for about 50 yards and walks back home eager to have his reward. The day your dog is able to eat boneless fish from your palm in a market place he is fully socialized.
Once socialized, he will enjoy long walks with you. Especially if he is one of the retriever breeds he would love to carry a stick or his Frisbee in his mouth during the walk. If there is a park nearby, you two can have a brisk game of fetch. Of course he will do the fetching, not you. What are you waiting for? Just get going from today itself.

More By  :  V. K. Joshi (Bijji)

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