Category Archives: Training

New Year’s Resolutions For Your Dogs And Their Pet Parents

At the start of the year, I have a list of the things I’d like to accomplish for my furry kids and myself, and for 2023 the list looks like this:

  • More exercise – I do my best to walk my furry kids twice a day, Mon thru Fri, but there are times when I fall short of this goal, so for 2023 I will make it a point to stick to a minimum of 2 walks, each at least 30 minutes. Unless it’s raining, in which case we’ll stay home. Yes, we will!
  • Measure my dogs’ food….and mine as well – I rarely do not measure their food, but I’ve realized that when it comes to my food, measuring does not exit. Could you believe that?
  • Improve my dogs behavior and training – Abby, for the most part, is where I’d like her to be. But this took me a long, long, long time. Charlie, on the other hand, is somewhere in the middle therefore I’ll need to be more diligent and work with both of them.
  • Incorporate playtime – this could be fun for both, pet parent and dog, and you could use it as part of your behavior and training. How? Before you throw the ball, ask your dog to sit, once he/she does that, throw the ball. There!
  • Try a new activity – I haven’t used my bike to run with Charlie so this is something I’d like to do this year.
  • Visit new places – I am going to keep track of the places and businesses we visit during our walks and outings.
  • Brush their teeth – I am pretty good at this, but I have to confess that the only day I don’t brush their teeth is Sunday. Why? It’s a mystery to me. Also, any day I fall asleep on the couch in the evening so when I noticed this, I ended up brushing their teeth right after they ate dinner. This year I will treat Sunday as any other day and brush their teeth.
  • Schedule vet visits – both go to see the vet once a year. Abby will probably have to go twice in a couple of years when she gets a bit older.

Anyway, I think that that is a pretty good list for 2023. Every month I take a look at it as a reminder of what I need to do otherwise I’ll forget. Do you have any new year’s resolution for your and your canine companion? What suggestions do you have to add to my list? Have a great week!

Happy New Year 2023!

Abby and Charlie (L to R)

Well, we decided to start 2023 by eating and relaxing just like our canine companions on the above picture.

Dogs are amazing teachers, if you take the time to really watch how they live their lives, and so we decided to copy their behavior and relax. Happy New Year to you, your furry kids, and extended family!

Looking Forward To 2023

A blast from the past. Walter, Dexter, and Alex.

How was your Christmas? I hope you had a wonderful time. I felt exactly like the above picture, tired and content after eating a delicious meal, but grateful for all the blessings in my life.

Now, who is impatiently waiting for the new year? I just hope I make it to 12AM so I can say, Happy New Year!” I don’t know about you, but I start to get sleepy around 10pm. Wishing you, your furry kids and family an amazing New Year!

Are You Ready For Xmas?

Charlie and Abby, “Mom, is all that for us? Please say yes!”

I haven’t met anybody that has said that they are ready for Xmas. Have you? I’d venture to say that most of us are concern about food, traveling, our dogs, presents, etc., but that’s fine. Just remember that although holidays tend to be a bit stressful, if you take sometime for yourself, you just might enjoy getting together with your family. Yes, even that aunt, uncle, cousin, etc., that drives you up the wall. Merry Xmas to all of you! Stay safe.

Happy Thanksgiving 2022

Alex and Bella (L to R)

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! Were you waiting for loved ones to get home like these two cuties in the picture? Or did you spend it quietly and peacefully with one or two people? However you decided to spend this past holiday, I wish you had a wonderful, uneventful, happy time.

By the way, you thought I was going to forget to ask this, right?, did you remember to walk your dogs? Take care.

Missing The Warm Long Days of Summer

I know, it’s a bit early to be complaining about the cold weather since we’re still in the fall season, but that is not going to stop me from doing it anyway. I’ve realized that even Abby and Charlie tend to want to sleep longer once it starts getting cold.

What changes or activities do you do different with your dog once Summer is gone? I am trying to get some ideas so let me know. Stay safe and enjoy your weekend!

Bundle Up! It’s Starting To Get Cold Here

Let me start by saying that most of the time I feel cold. I see people wearing shorts and t-shirts during fall season and I am in awe of them because I’m already cold during this time.

Charlie, our GSD mix, was wearing a backpack, but no sweater, the same goes for Abby and Remy. The day was beautiful so there was no need for that. By the way, when it starts to get warm, Abby hates to walk with a backpack so I do not subject such a beautiful creature to such cruel and unusual punishment, but it took me a little bit of time to realize that. Sorry Abby!

I am a big advocate for walks regardless of the season, but please make sure that you and your dogs bundle up when the weather starts getting cold. Also, walk in different areas to make it interesting for you, and your doggies. Take care!

Adding A New Dog To Your Family/Pack

Abby, “Mom, what are you doing? Are you taking pictures of us again?!”

Bringing a new dog thru adoption or fostering is a wonderful idea, but you need to make sure that the new dog is compatible with you, pet parent, and your current dog.

When we were planning to get Charlie, from the SPCA in Annapolis, we got Abby to meet him before making any decision to make sure that they were a good fit. How did it go? Great. They played until their tongues were hanging out.

From experience I can tell you that having 2 or more dogs is a lot of work, but for those of you that are willing to adopt/foster your second or third dog, I commend you for doing so. And with that being said, let me ask you something. Would you adopt a second dog? Do you prefer having just one dog? Just curious. Stay safe.

Multi-Dog Household And Energy

I’ve recently seen that shelters are struggling with the large intake of dogs that it is believed stems from the desire of people to adopt dogs during the pandemic, and this is yours truly trying to influence you to go out and adopt, but-and this is super important-make sure that your energy, that of your current dog, and new dog align together.

What do I mean by that? Well, this is what I mean:

  • You and your dog are for the most part sedentary – meaning that you go for a walk once in a while and both of you are ok with it. Do not adopt a dog-regardless of age-that is hyper or needs a huge amount of exercise because it will not work out
  • You and your dog are active – meaning that you walk/run/hike every day and thrive on being active. Adopt a dog that is active and have a wonderful time!
  • You are active, but your dog is getting old and requires less exercise – You could adopt an active dog that could run/hike/walk with you, always remembering to provide your senior dog with shorter walks and time to go potty
  • You are sedentary, but your dog is active – do not adopt a hyper dog to provide exercise for your current dog. It will be a huge headache having 2 active dogs

You are probably thinking, “Marcela, I thought you were trying to encourage us to adopt, but your post doesn’t seem to suggest that.” To what I’d respond by saying that having a multi-dog household is wonderful as long as the activity level matches that of the pet parent and current dog in order to be successful. With that being said, if you are thinking about adding a new doggie to your family, this may be the right time. Do you have a multi-dog household?

Stop Talking To Your Dog!

Abby and Charlie, “Mom, you talk too fast so we’ll just go ahead and ignore you. There!”

Years ago, when I took my very first dog training class with an excellent dog trainer, Janet Bennet, there was a lady with a small dog and during class she had conversations with her dog rather than plainly telling him, “Sit.” To say that I smiled about this exchange between the two of them would be an understatement, but I know now that that is the worst thing you could do with your dog.

Yes, you should use words to teach your dog commands, but dogs don’t need a story of why you want him to do something. To be effective at communicating with your dog, use your body language, tone of voice, intention, and energy. And if you have a fearful, sensitive, excitable, or shy dog, the least you talk to him, the better for both of you because you will not be frustrated and he will learn at his own pace. So, let’s leave our talking for the trainer you are communicating with about your canine companion and start communicating properly with your dog. Stay safe!