Do you have two minutes?

Do you have 2 minutes of free time in your day? GREAT! Then you have time to practice some engagement with your walking! 

The goal in these sessions is to reward glances in my direction - essentially building value for ‘checking in with me’. Your dogs learns through trial and error that pulling or ignoring won't get him far - if your dog pulls you around on leash when training, simply stop moving. There are only so many places they can go! Once they offer a glance your way, THAT is the behaviour you want to repeat-  so mark it “YES!” and reward.
When dogs are in new environments the tendency is for them to zone out and ignore you - this is normal especially if it is a highly distracting environment. It's up to us to teach the dog a little focus+engagement in ALL environments earns you  freedom! Always give a clear end signal to your training sessions - “all done!"

As always start this exercise easy -
In the home, in your yard and down your driveway/street are all good examples of quiet and non overwhelming places to start this training.
Once your dog has the ability to check in with you without nagging or reminding, the foundation is set for a nice loose leash walk!

  • Written by Sophia Barquero

*photo by Julie Whalen Photography

*photo by Julie Whalen Photography

Ask a Dog Expert: Dealing with Hot Weather

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Question: I feel like my boxer can't handle the heat. What can I do to ensure she's comfortable in these hot temperatures?

Answer - It's important to keep your dog cool and hydrated for the following reasons: Dogs are 80% water just like us. They need about an ounce of water per pound of body weight to stay properly hydrated. Dogs sweat only through their feet and by panting - which dries out their mouths so they need water.

There are a few things you can do to ensure your dog is comfortable in this heat.

1. Take walks early in the morning, or in the evening so that you can avoid the hottest temperatures mid-day.

2. Do not under any circumstance leave your dog in your car on a warm day - even just for a few minutes.

3. Bring a water bottle for you and your dog for the walk or play time.

4. Look for signs of overheating – diving into shade, excessive panting, searching for a water. Cut your walk short if your dog is showing any of the signs.

5. Do not give ice cold water is it shocks their system. Cool or room temperature water is best.

6. There are cooling jackets, bandanas, mats and different water bottles and dishes you can buy from your local pet store (Visit Bloomingtails in Byron) they have lots of awesome things to assist with the heat.