Poor Honey. She’s always waiting for something.
Waiting for the vet. Waiting for one of us to come out of the store. Waiting for us to stop talking to someone.
What if we found special things to do while waiting with our dog?
Waiting Is The Hardest Part
Besides waiting for the vet to see her, Honey has lots of other waiting time built into her life.
When it’s hot, we can’t leave her behind in a shut up boat. So we take her with us. And one of us waits outside while the other one shops or manages other business.
I’ve gotten pretty good at finding ways to make the waiting easier for her.
Here’s my list.
Things To Do While Waiting With Your Dog
Never underestimate how important dogs this is to dogs. If you can find the spot where all dogs seem to “go,” your dog will enjoy catching up on the social scene.
Tune Up Your Training
You’ve got time on your hands. Why not practice some training?
Ask your dog to stay while you do weird things at the end of his leash. It’s always great to practice trained behaviors in a distracting environment.
Help your dog work her body and hind legs. Have her put her front paws up on a bench. Or do puppy push ups (sit, lie down, sit, lie down).
Meet His Fan Club
If you have a social dog, don’t hide him off in a corner somewhere. Bring him out to a prominent spot where he can greet people walking by.
Practice Comfort With Scary Situations Or People
If your dog isn’t a social butterfly, maybe she needs some practice feeling comfortable out and about.
Find a place where she can observe noisy shopping carts, kids, or big scary men with beards and hats (apparently a big trigger for some dogs). Reward her for staying calm by walking away, playing a game, or giving a treat. Make sure you stay far enough away that you don’t trigger her fear.
Play A Game
Even in a small area, most ball-crazy dogs will be happy to fetch even a few steps. And tug is a compact game you can play almost anywhere.
Feed Your Dog
We sometimes plan errands around Honey’s dinner time.
Measure your dog’s meal into his bowl or favorite food toy and stick it in a sealable plastic bag. If he has any kind of appetite at all, he won’t mind waiting for his person one bit.
Take A Long Walk
If you find yourself waiting outside the store that suddenly put up a no dogs allowed sign after years of allowing them, take a walk.
Lots of developed places have wild fringes of woods and streams nearby that are homes for all kinds of wild creatures.
Give A Massage
Does your dog love having her ears scratched? Or belly? How about a deep, soothing massage?
The benefit of this idea is that it’s as good for you as for your dog.
Play Hide The Treat
We’ve done beginning nose work games with Honey. It’s been a foundation for all kinds of fun sniffing games.
Sometimes I cover her eyes and toss a treat into the grass and tell her to “find it.” Or if your dog has a good sit and stay, hide a treat on a nearby bench or behind a trash can after sneaking around the corner.
Don’t Make The Wait Just About Waiting
I never mind waiting.
When I’m alone I bring a book. When I’m with Honey, we find plenty to do.
So the next time you find yourself waiting for the vet to see your dog or for your training class to start, take advantage of it.
Your dog will love you for it. And you just might enjoy yourself too.
Your Turn: When do you find yourself waiting with your dog? Who’s more impatient, you or the dog?