When making your new years resolutions, don't forget your four-legged family member! Here are somethings you could pledge to work on for them or with them:
- Take them to training! Don't underestimate the power of a formal education on how to train your dog. One class or lesson can teach you skills you'll use for the rest of your life! (Make sure the trainer uses force-free training techniques!)
- Use a harness on walks! Even if your dog doesn't pull, there is always that one time they hit the end of the leash. Every tug on their neck causes localized trauma to their muscles, organs, or spine in that area. Use a harness or front-attach harness to pad impacts!
- Trade in the ol' dog bowl for a puzzle toy! The dog food puzzle industry has exploded this past year. Take a few minutes to feed your dog out of a puzzle toy to enrich their lives and let them use their scavaging instincts!
- Don't let them rehearse inappropriate behavior! The first step in all training plans is to prevent the behavior from occuring. What can you change about your situation than could help prevent the problem behaviors from occuring? Baby gates, crates, and visual barriers are great tools to use to help with this!
Ready to improve your relationship with your dog? Check out the Pet Professionals Guild to find a force-free training professional near you! http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/