Scheduling some “crazy time”

With all the training we do and talk about, you may think that our dogs are wonderfully well-behaved.

Not so much. When we first get home from work, even if the dogs have been with us, had several play sessions and training breaks – they still get nutty when they greet the dogs left at home that day.

Rather than fight the nuttiness, we encourage it – pulling some of their favorite toys off the shelf, playing tug, playing fetch, letting them know it’s okay to wrestle, be loud, play “bitey-face” and generally perpetuate chaos and mayhem.

Even Tango, the oldest (even though he’s only six), gets the zoomies during this crazy time. The key, for us, is to let them all blow off some steam, then be able to calm down and enjoy the evening, whether it includes a training class or session, or just relaxing in front of the tv.

We don’t think it would be fair to ask our dogs to be perfectly-behaved gentlemen all the time. If we didn’t have 15 or 20 minutes every day just to play with them and let them be dogs, we probably shouldn’t have them at all. Dogs need some time to just be dogs, without any expectations laid on them.

And each of them has his own crazy time character. Tango like to play-bow at the dogs and instigate a game of chase – zoomies included.

teddykeysTeddy never seems to zoom – he’s more interested in silly games like slapping our hands. Or else he just finds a chewie toy and gnaws away while the others wrestle on top of him. If the two youngest dogs annoy him sufficiently, he can be coaxed into a short bitey-face session.

Booker loves to play – with toys, with other dogs, with us. He’s always ready for a game, whether it’s fetch with us, or wrestling with his “brothers.” He always has to be where the action it – if Tango is play-attacking Torque, Booker’s right there. If Teddy and Torque are playing bitey-face, Booker’s there, usually with a plastic bone in his mouth, which Teddy promptly steals.bookertugfox1

Torque, at 14 months, is always ready to play – any game with anybody. We’re working on teaching him some manners so he doesn’t grab the other dogs’ toys, but it’s a slow process when the other always drop any toy that Torque wants.

And when crazy time is over – it’s over. And we decide when that happens. The dogs really aren’t able to call a halt to the proceedings – Booker and Torque would play until exhaustion if we let them. So we call “That’s all!” and they’re learning that we mean it. Some days are more difficult than others – but there’s always tomorrow for “crazy time.”

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