Spend The Day With The Family And The Dog

We spend so much time at work, playing on the phone and not enough time spending quality time with our dogs. Spending time with your dog builds a stronger relationship, develops stronger communication, and provides your dog with plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Plus the majority of these activities are free or cheap! You really can’t beat that.  These are not only great ways to spend time with your dog, but also great ways to get your family together.

Scavenger Hunt– This one you can do indoor or out. Use playing cards and hide them/hang them out on the trail or in the house. The person to find the most playing cards wins.

Make it a training exercise:
Have your dog sit for every heart, down for every spade, shake for every spade, and stay for diamonds.
Charity Pet Walk- Get active for a good cause

Make it a training exercise:
Since there are tons of people and possibly dogs this is a great place to practice loose leash walking. Give your dog a treat when he looks at you.
Hike– there is a hike for everyone from a short one to a long one.

Make it a training exercise:
This is a great place to practice recalls. Bring a 10-15 foot long line and every time your dog gets close to the end of the leash say “Come” as you jog backwards.
Bike Trip– Going for a long bike ride is a great way to get out as a family.

Make it a training exercise:
Have your dog sit before crossing any street. If you are riding in a area where there aren’t streets try stopping and asking your dog to hold a sit as people pass.
Sunset– Go out and watch the sunset.

Make it a training exercise:
Ask your dog to hold a down stay or bring a KONG so your dog can practice patiently waiting.
Picnic– Go for a walk to the nearest park and enjoy a picnic park with your family and pup

Make it a training exercise
: Practice having your dog leave food, be sure to bring dog treats and a KONG
Yoga– Go to the park and practice Yoga with your dog.

Make it a training exercise:
You can have your dog hold eye contact, do a down stay, sit stay, or leave it while you hold a pose. If there is more then one person in your yoga party try calling your dog from one person to another.
Take a Trip- Go camping or spend the weekend at a dog friendly pet hotel. This is fun for everyone.

Make it a training exercise
: Staying at a hotel? Practice down stays in the lobby during busy check-in/check-out times. This will be great for practicing with distraction. Going camping- This is a great place to practice rewarding your dog for coming when called. Since there is a lot of fun things for your dog like wildlife, smells and food you can also practice your leave its.

You can also join a fun drop in agility, rally or tricks class with your dog.  

Responsibility For Children With Dogs

Each year plenty of families bring a new dog into the home. It is very important to include all family members in the care of a dog and it’s a great opportunity to teach children how to responsibly care for a pet.

Very often parents are unsure of how to include their children in their dog’s raising.  Hopefully this blog gives you a great start.

These are responsibilities that would be excellent to encourage your children to do each and every single day. You may need to modify them depending on your child’s age.

Age 4-7

  • Pet your dog everyday- teach your child to gently Pat the dog and make sure they do this every day.
  • Give your dog a treat every morning– if your child is younger it may include placing the tree on the floor. If your child is older they may ask them to sit before placing the treat on the floor
  • Help brush the dog- have your kiddo help you brush the dog as he gets older this can become his responsibility.

Age 7-15

  1. Feed your dog– at age 7 your have children start to feed the dog every morning and evening.
  2. Brush the dog– at age 7 it can become your child’s responsibility to brush the dog each day or every other day depending on your breed of dog. This is a great bonding opportunity.
  3. Practice training– at age 7 I have your children start helping you practice sit, down, skake and stay with your dog. As your child gets older this can become their daily responsibility.
  4. Walks– start to go for a family walk for at least 20 minutes everyday. As your child becomes older this also can become their responsibility to do with the dog.  If you have a small breed or a particularly well trained dog if your child ask to go outside and play ask them to take the dog along with them.

Age 15 or older
By now your teenager should already be in the habit of feeding his dog, walking, brushing and training their dog.  They are also almost at the age where they’re going to be interested in getting their first car and responsibility should be taking a step up. This is a great opportunity for them to start learning adult projects like scheduling vet appointments.

  1. Vet appointments- go over with your kiddo how often your dog needs to go to the veterinarian and teach them to call and make their own appointments for their dog.
  2. Puppy class– if you just got a new dog or puppy it’s a great time to have your teenager take responsibility attend puppy classes with their new dog. If you have an older dog this could be a great opportunity for a refresher course.
  3. Bath time and brushing– can be your child’s full responsibility at this age.
  4. Walking daily or running- if your child is in to sports it could be a great opportunity for your child to stay fit with your pet.

For fun games for kids and dogs to play together: click here

trick training

Our First AKC tricks title event

When at Bennett Canine Training first saw the news that the AKC was offering the Tricks Titles we couldn’t wait to start telling students about it. We thought it was great that our dogs could participate regardless of breed or physical ability there is tricks that work for everyone. When we told our students about it they were excited too! They didn’t feel overwhelmed since they could use rewards and they were too excited to be nervous. When decided to hold a testing event. 

 We offered the AKC Canine Good Citizen and right after we offered the AKC Tricks Titles Testing. It worked our perfectly and boy-o-boy did we have a turnout. We tested a total of 9 dogs. Our youngest handler being just 10 years old passed her CGC and her Novice tricks on “Aggie” whom she trained all by herself! This wasn’t just a test for beginners though we had handlers of all levels join.
We knew that this was going to be a fun event and it didn’t disappoint! As evaluators we were so excited to see the creativity of dogs and owners working together. The personalities of the dog/hander teams really came out in a way we’ve never seen in the obedience ring! All the participants were supportive of each other and clapped with joy after each trick. The dogs had just as much fun as the handlers!

Surely owners will be talking about this event for weeks to come. We know for sure that our Novice Title dogs will be going home to start on their journeys to their next AKC Trick Titles.

We offer drop in tricks classes to get started with tricks once a month and our next tricks title event will be on Feb 24, 2017 on Saturday at 1:30.

Games For Kids And Dogs

We love having kids join our training classes a lot of time parents are unsure of how to include their children in their dogs training. This article focuses on games that can keep both your kids and dogs occupied while teaching each other appropriate interactions.

Games to encourage kids to be involved with the dog’s training.

Red Light Green Light:

Who is it good for?

It is good for any dogs or puppies that get to excited when the kids play.

Here is how to play:
Have the kids run around the back yard (green light) any time the dog/puppy gets in the children’s personal space to much such as jumping, mouthing or getting to rough yell red light. The kids freeze and you get a sit from your dog. Once your dog sit you can restart the game with a green light. This helps a dogs learn boundaries getting too close to the kids while they are playing ends the game and helps to teach puppies how to control themselves.

Make your own obstacle course:

Who is it good for?

 Almost all dogs and puppies as ling as they can take treats gently.

Here is how to play:
Supply your kids with regular house hold objects like cardboard boxes, laundry baskets, broom sticks, step stools, or kids tunnels. Help your kids use these things to make their own obstacle course. Then give your kids a treat and see who can get their dog to go through the course the fastest. This helps dogs to learn how to be lured and it helps kids understand how to get dogs to do what they want without physically manipulating them.

Hide and Seek:
Who it is good for?

It is good for all dogs and puppies that can take treats gently.

Here is how to play:
Start by having the kids hide in the same room as the dog give each kid a treat. Tell the dog find “Molly” or find “Johnny” then ignore your dog and let the child he is finding call him. When the dog/puppy finds the correct person he gets a treat. When the dog/puppy gets the hang of it you can use the whole house to play.
This helps your puppy learn to come when called and learn the family member’s names.

Round Robin:
Who is it good for?

All dogs and puppies that can take treats gently.
Here is how to play:
Everyone should have a few treats maybe five (let the children count the treats and pass them out). Everyone should stand in circle and with your dog in the middle have the first person walk up to the dog put the treat to the dog’s nose and say “Come” Once they say “come” have them run back into their place in the circle when the puppy gets to them give them 1 treat. Have the person on the other side of the circle call the dog and then take turns. It is important that if the dog comes to the wrong person the person who didn’t call the dog ignores them completely until it is their turn.
This teaches kids how to call their dog and it teaches dogs to come to everyone in the family!

Find It:
Who is it good for?

Dogs with extra energy

Here is how to play:
Hold your dog by the collar and have your child hide your dog’s favorite treat (Insight at first, once they get better the hiding spot can be harder) When your child is done hiding the treat have your kiddo come back and tell your dog to “Find it” as soon as the child cues the dog to “find it” release the collar!

Good luck with training your dog or puppy! Getting the whole family involved helps to ensure that your puppy or dog can be handled and controlled by all family members and more importantly it teaches children safe ways to interact with their dogs and builds a unbreakable bond!

Want your kids to do more with your dogs? 

For more ways to keep your kids involved with raising the dog click here