So, the oldest rule of all time – let sleeping dogs lie. Whilst I can’t sleep tonight, I figure this is a good time for me to explain from my point of view why this so important, especially when it comes to children.
Time and time again during 121 training, I hear about dogs who snap when their owners try to move them whilst they are sleeping or who growl when they are woken up to play/go for a wee. I then try to explain to owners how they would feel if they were woken suddenly from slumber – would they willingly do whatever task was asked of them? I know I wouldn’t!
I encourage owners to interact with their dogs when their dogs want the interaction, but whilst asleep to give their dogs space to relax and wind down. Everyone needs time to chill after all!
Kizzy, my rescue working sheepdog, is a champion sleeper – she can happily snooze, doze, snore or stretch out for hours on end on the sofa or floor (wherever she prefers that day) and if I have to disturb her, I allow her a minute or so to wake up first before I touch her or ask her to do anything. This way we have a mutual two way street of respect and both parties are happy and contented. So, let sleeping dogs lie!