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If you have been following me for a while, you will know that I often refer to routine. Routine is at the heart of my method and underpins ‘everything’ in the relationship I share with my dogs.

Any upset in routine can cause possible problems for your dog. It’s especially important for puppies and you will need to establish a routine early on. All the important things in your dogs life should happen in regular patterns; such as eating, walking and sleeping. This allows his head and body to get in a system. Imagine the effects if you fed him at 8am one day and 2pm the next. Not only would his tummy be upset but his sleeping and toilet routine will be disrupted.

The same thing happens if there is no regularity in his life and no consistency over what he is and is not allowed to do. He can only adapt to your way of life if he has a regular timetable, feeding sleeping, exercise, playing and being left alone.

As well as the routine of the house, you should get him into a regular routine of being brushed and ‘looked at’. Examining your dog may sound strange, but if you get him used to his ears being checked, his teeth, his eyes and his feet, etc. all being held and examined it will make your job and that of your vet much easier when your dog is unwell and in the need of attention. It is very difficult to bandage a cut foot if he won’t let you near his feet.

Get used to the look and feel of him when he is healthy, so that you will quickly be able to spot when something is wrong. There is nobody better qualified to talk ‘your dog’ than you, in a world full of quick access to information it is easy to doubt your own ability and listen to those around you, my best advice is to follow your instinct – if it feels wrong then it usually is wrong!

Sammy x