By: Erin Albright
Dogs are my family. I don’t have a big family, and I like to think that this may have been divinely designed so I could have lots of pets throughout my lifetime to make up for it. They serve as constant companionship and provide lots to smile about on a daily basis. Knowing that they don’t live as long as we do is hard, but I have learned to love on them and enjoy them while I can. They are chapters in the book of my life, and I am so grateful for each one and everything that they have taught me.
What do you do if you have a dog who needs to learn some manners, has a few behaviors you’re not pleased with, is scared to leave the house, or maybe you just want to try a new sport or skill with your canine companion? Of course, you call a dog trainer! But, what kind of dog trainer do you enlist? All dog trainers are not created equal and it’s important to find the right one for your job. Just as you wouldn’t use a screwdriver to hammer a nail, you won’t fair well if your dog trainer isn’t knowledgeable and experienced in the areas that you and your dog need assistance.
Dogs and people have many similarities. Yet, we are also very different. From greeting rituals to play styles and communication, there are just some things we do not have in common with our canine companions. Recently, I spoke with *Colleen Perry of Pawsitively Waggin’ on the topic of “good dogs”, and brought to light how some of these differences influence relationships with our family pets.
National Dog Bite Prevention Week occurs each year during the second full week of April. The goal is to educate the public about ways to prevent dog bites to themselves, their families, and communities. This year, Smartypaws had the privilege of hosting daily Dog Aware discussions with colleagues from around the U.S. and Canada. We started off the week talking to the Founder of Family Paws Parent Education, Jennifer Shryock B.A. CDBC, about Creating Dog Aware Generations.
If you’re wondering, “What is a positive interrupter and why should I train it?”. Check part I of this series on “The First Thing I Taught My Puppy”. If you’re ready to pull out those tasty treats and get to training an effective positive interrupter, then this is the blog for you. Here are the instructions for making that special sound mean something important to your pup and for utilizing it effectively. Begin this training in a quiet place with your dog near you and minimal distractions around you.
We drove 16 hours roundtrip between winter snow and ice storms to pick up our 9 week old puppy. Like most puppies that age, he was a roly poly ball of fur clumsily playing and exploring his environment. So cute. So innocent. So fun.
I can’t remember another time in my adult life that I’ve been faced with such a heart wrenching and difficult decision. Working with dogs and families the past few years, it has been imperative that I keep an open mind and consider the best outcome for everyone. Sometimes, it is to encourage and support families through training and management that cultivates a forever family. Sometimes, it is to rehome or return a dog to the rescue or breeder they were acquired from. No matter what the situation, it’s never an easy or simple process.
Need a New Year’s Resolution you can stick with through the entire year? How about resolving to enrich your dog’s life with at least one fun and novel experience a week? During the cold winter months or hot summer heat, these activities can add some variety to your pup’s days when walks aren’t feasible. Let’s do some thinking outside of the kibble bag and discover a few activities that can add even more joy to your life together.
Adopting a pet is a wonderful experience that can bring incredible joy and completeness to a family. The happy tale of searching the web or visiting a shelter to find “the one” is a beautiful story. We’ve all heard it and hoped our experiences would follow that narrative. However, for those of us who have gone through the process of adding a rescued pup to our families with young children, we know that this prettily painted picture isn’t always how the story plays out.
In-home pet sitting has been around for quite some time, but for some it is still a new concept. In-home pet sitting is an alternative to boarding your pets at a facility or asking a family member to take care of your pets while you are away. Even though my company has been around for over eight years, we still field weekly calls from pet owners who have never heard of these services and want to understand what we do.