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.  

Take The Pulling Test

Do you want to know how good at loose leash walking your dog is?  The answer might surprise you.
When we are testing our dog’s leash manners were going to be asking our dog a series of questions. Our dog will answer the questions based on the way he responds to each exercise.
Choose the answer based on your dog’s response to the exercise

Walk your dog 10 steps and stop:
1. My dog was looking at me, so he knew I stopped.  He stopped to before taking the slack out of the leash
2. My dog didn’t know I stopped until he ran out of leash, but then he stopped and came back to me
3. My dog didn’t know I stopped until he ran out of leash and then he continued to pull

While walking your dog say his name several times:
1. As soon as I said my dog’s name he looked up at me and stayed focused on me for at least 5 Seconds afterwards.
2. When I said my dog’s name he continued to pull, but he did look back at me. The glance back was only for a second.
3.  My dog didn’t have a response to his name, maybe he’s deaf.

Walk 10 steps and then change directions repeat this two times:
1. My dog knew I was going to turn before I even turned, because he was already paying attention.
2. My dog wasn’t ready for the first turn, but was paying attention and ready for the second turn.
3. My dog wasn’t ready for either turn, he was already pulling and distracted by the time we were done turning.

Dogs that earned mostly ones:
Congratulations, you’ve got a job who is great on leash. This is the type of dog you can walk while holding a cup of coffee. Many dog owners dream of owning a dog like yours.

Dogs that are earned mostly twos:
Your dog has some great skills.   Your dog may occasionally pull hard for the most part you can enjoy walking your dog unless a big distraction pops up like a rabbit or squirrel. With just a little bit of training your dog will be an All-Star.

Dogs that earned mostly threes:
Your dog is a bit of a party animal. He’s looking for fun and he’s highly distracted. Consider getting in front clip no pull harness to use for the first few weeks of training. You may want to start practicing your loose leash walking in the house or in the backyard for a few days before you take it outdoors.

Follow our loose leash walking tips Wednesday on our Facebook page. Exercise each week. If you follow along your dogs will have great loose leash walking skills in no time.

blue mastiff

See the loose leash?