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 Just Dogs With Sherri: "What about me?" Written By: Sherri Regalbuto  

One on one with your dog; yep it is extremely important.

Do you remember when you were a kid; if you had brothers and sisters how great it felt when you got to spend one on one with your parents? I know it made me feel pretty special; it was a time to share without getting lost in the crowd so to speak.

I'm actually a twin, I have a twin brother. I have two sisters and two brothers, getting some individual time was a treat. The same goes for your dogs; if you have two or more then you have a pack of dogs and although a pack of dogs is a wonderful thing they need their alone time.

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Alone time is especially important when you have a puppy; you don't want the puppy bonding with the other dogs and not you. You need to become the most important thing in your dog's life; the leader. Dogs in a pack will usually figure out the pack dimension; occasionally they can't quite figure it out and we must step in. If the dogs are always together, never given alone time then they will be handicapped when you take them out alone. I have seen this a lot when people never have alone time with individuals. By removing a dog and spending quality alone time with them, taking them on walks or just getting out and socializing you allow each dog to grow to their full potential.

Dogs act very differently when they are on their own. A dog who is a confident member of a pack may be a very fearful dog when removed from the pack; their comfort zone. Socializing is extremely important; the more you introduce your dog to the more comfortable they will be in general about life as a whole. And when you take them out alone they flourish; they can experience life without the shadow of the pack. Even when you only have two dogs; individual time is extremely important.

If you have a big pack then you can do individual time and switch around pair time. This allows each dog to bond to the others without the whole pack watching. New relationships can form resulting in a very happy pack. Having a pack of dogs is work; and often one member can get lost in the crowd. This is a sad situation because removed from a large pack this individual may thrive. Sometimes certain dogs are not meant to be large pack dogs; and these dogs are best placed in a home with perhaps only one other member.

Just because dogs are pack animals does not mean that every pack is a match. In the wild, when a wolf pack member doesn't fit it may be driven out of the pack. This is usally the start of a new pack, the member must find one or more other pack members. I have seen packs that just aren't working, and it is not a good way to live. When you look for new pack members be careful to look for personalities that might best work.

By taking each dog out on their own, their confidence grows as does your bond. This is a win win for everyone.
Leadership is imperative in a group, as is alone time.

Remember how wonderful it feels to be given one on one attention; then give that gift to your dogs.

- Sherri Regalbuto - Just Dogs with Sherri

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