Tag Archives: running

Walking And Behavior Modification

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One of the things I teach pet parents and I find very important during Behavior and Training Level I, is to not allow their dogs to bolt out the door, any door for that matter.  Why?  They could get injured, killed, lost, cause an accident, and/or harm another dog/animal or human.

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Even though Abby knows her boundaries at home, I still work with her in different areas and environments in order for her to continue to learn and improve.

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I tell pet parents that they should not set up their dogs to fail.  What do I mean by that?  It’s not fair to ask a dog that is not exercised mentally and physically to do this.  We, pet parents, need to fulfill their needs in order to get a balanced and well behaved dog.  Like I tell many of my pet parents, behavior modification is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards, if you and your dog walk hard, are amazing!

Excessive Pacing & Your Canine Companion

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I’ve had a few clients ask me, “My dog paces excessively in the house and I don’t know what to do.  What would you recommend to get rid of this annoying habit?”  The first thing I always tell them is to have their vet check their dog for it may be something related to his health.  Once the vet has cleared your dog and everything, health wise, is fine then you need to look elsewhere for an answer.

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Oliver, “I think I need a bigger bed.”

The answer could be one or all of the following:

  1. Are you providing adequate exercise to your dog?  A puppy or young dog needs at least a 1/2 hour brisk walk twice a day and this is the very minimum.
  2. Does your dog have a bed or crate?  Most dogs enjoy having a place where they know they can rest without being disturbed.
  3. How many times did you take your dog to potty?  Puppies and seniors need to go potty more often than adult dogs, but it also depends on the size of the dog.  Small dogs need to go potty more often than large ones.

IMG_4993Now, there is always that exception.  The handsome Aussie, Walter, most of the time preferred to hang out under our table, but in the evenings and night time he did go to his bed.

Also, please know that for dogs that you are adopting and/or fostering as well as those that are nervous, sensitive or were abused in the past, pacing will take a while to disappear.  Have patience and continue working with your dog.  As time goes by, you’ll see positive results.

Bella, An Energetic Pit Mix

Alex, ready to catch whatever is that that she just saw

Alex, ready to catch whatever is that that she just saw

Alex, my 12 year-old pit mix, only started to settle down when she was about 10 years old.  Yes, you read that right, 10 years.  During those 10 years, I had to take Alex for long walks and get her to run a couple of times a week in order to keep my sanity.  The weird thing about it was that once her level of energy started to decrease, I realized that I missed my hyperactive girl.  Humans!  Can’t make up their minds.  That’s what Alex would probably think if I told her this.

Alex and Bella (L to R)

Alex and Bella (L to R)

Anyway, then Bella came into our lives and I realized I was fortunate – ok.,to be honest sometimes I thought I was cursed – because she is also a hyper girl like Alex used to be.  For a while, she wore a backpack, but I stopped since I didn’t think she needed it.  Well, I was wrong.  The hour walk twice a day is not enough anymore so she is using her backpack again.  I am also getting her to run at least twice a week to drain her energy along with some basic training sessions.  Does it sound like a lot of work?  Yes.  Why do I do it?  Because I want Bella’s needs to be met and I want a dog I can enjoy sharing my life with and if that means being more active than usual, then so be it. 

Walter and Bella (L to R).  Photo taken May 2014.

Walter and Bella (L to R). Photo taken May 2014.

There are several things you can use and do to drain your dog’s energy such as: get her to use a backpack; take her for a run a couple of times a week; swim with her; train her to use a treadmill; and compete in Obedience Trials in your area, to name a few.  Those are just some suggestions, but I am sure you can come up with your own ideas.  With that in mind, what do you do to drain your dog’s excess energy?

Exercising Alex, My Senior Dog

exercisesenior1The above body language from Alex signals to me that she is ready to go around me making a circle while on a retractable leash a couple of times.  Oh boy, every time she does that I am dizzy, but I know she loves it.

Alex is 11 1/2 years old, and even at that age she is a very active senior dog.  After she got over her sprain, I started to walk her a little more each time and lately we have been taking walks 45 – 60 minutes long.  And you know what?  When we come home she runs around the house like the walk did nothing to her.  This past weekend she ran around me at full speed and fell down hard.  Yes, you guessed it.  She sprained her leg again, therefore she’ll be out of commission for a couple of weeks, yes, again.

Alex

Alex

Alex, to me, is the epitome of what an active dog is all about, but I know that she should not run like she used to so  I’ll do my best to stop her from running at full speed, and I’ll start looking for places that offer canine hydrotherapy.

I am a huge advocate for keeping dogs active, but make sure that your canine companion is not overdoing it, like in Alex’s case.  Even dogs that are very active will slow down as they age.  The goal is to fulfill your dog by tailoring exercise, diet, naps, etc., according to his age and needs.

IMG_4981My girl’s favorite pastime now is taking long naps, and my job now is making sure that she is comfortable, relaxed, and healthy.  Enjoy your senior dogs and have a great week.

Roxy, My Little Shadow

Roxy, a beautiful Pomeranian, is staying with us this weekend.  To say that she is my little shadow would be an understatement.  Remember Frasier, the TV show?  Frasier was living with his father, Martin, and his father’s dog, Eddie.  For some odd, crazy reason Eddie was fascinated with Frasier and would stare at him for long periods of time.  Well, Roxy also does that.  Sometimes she just sits close to me and stares at me.  I wonder, just like Frasier did, do I look like a giant kibble?

Roxy, "where are you going?"

Roxy, “where are you going?”

Can you see the leash?  The last time she was here, I had to go and run some errands so she stayed with Cynthia and Alex at home and we had to put a leash on her so she would not bolt out the door after me.  Cynthia took this picture.

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According to Cynthia, Roxy stayed waiting for me for a while on this spot.  When I got back home she greeted me with her usual barking, running around me, and jumping.  I had to laugh because she is so tiny and adorable.  What a wonderful welcome I received from Roxy.