New Year! New you and a happy dog!
Ringing in the new year means reflecting on the last year, celebrating successes and setting resolutions for change. Its time for a new you, let’s include your dog!
Here are a few suggestions of new year resolutions for you and your doggo!
1. More sniffaries!
Sniffaries are walks where your dog chooses where to go and how long to smell. Why? Because it’s actually so much fun! It’s a great way to let your dog be a dog and you may be surprised where you end up! For some, you probably won't go far. Your dog may love to snif
f and leave his own messages to the next dog who comes by. For others, you may discover a new walking route! The idea is to let go of the obedience stuff like heeling and let your dog explore!
Enrichment may seem like a fun extra you give your dog once in a while, however it’s actually a necessary part for their overall well being. Enrichment can be daily training sessions, food puzzles, sniffaries or trips to the dog park. Incorporating enrichment into your dog’s daily life will help a variety of issues you may have like barking, chewing, digging, or if your dog seems to have a lot of energy.
Here are a few puzzle ideas:
- Omega paw ball (not suggested for heavy chewers)
This toy is inexpensive and can keep your dog occupied during meal times. All they need to do is roll in around and kibble drops out. Use this toy and ditch the bowl.
- Stuffed kongs It will surprise you how long this keeps your dog busy. I enjoy giving the dogs this toy when I watch TV or eat dinner!
- Surprise box! You can use your recycles likes cereal boxes, yogurt containers, paper towel rolls and tissue boxes. Place a couple of treats inside each and place it in a large box and let your dog party!
For more enrichment ideas, check out our blog post!
3. Take a class
Harlow and I have done obedience, agility and nose work classes together. It’s a great outing with our dog, especially when it’s really cold outside. Many places offer trick classes, jumpers anonymous and even reactive rover classes!
When it comes to choosing a trainer to work with, make sure they have a solid education in fear free, force free training and they do not use aversive such as chokers or even leash pops on your dog. Take a look at the directory on the Academy for Dog Trainers for a trainer in your area!
4. Brush your dog’s teeth
Brushing teeth may not sound like a fun task, however it’s pretty important! Brushing your dog’s teeth can help keep them healthy, and help you avoid hefty dental bills in a few years.
When it comes to husbandry like brushing teeth, dogs are not born loving it, which can make the task stressful for both you and your dog.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Take it slow and create positive associations.
Start by just showing the tooth brush and feeding them tasty treats. This will help your dog create a positive association to the tooth brush! It can be tempting to just start brushing right away, but going slow will really pay off in the long run!
- If you need help, hire a professional trainer to help you! A trainer will be able to get you started on the right track and create a training plan for you to continue between sessions.
- Lori Nanan’s online course! This is a great course if you like to DIY! Check it out here!