We all do it every year! We come up with things each January to try and start better habits. What about your dog? Could he use some New Year's goals? If so then maybe you both could benefit from your New Years Adventure.
First thing to look at would be exercise for you and the canine companion. Stress reducer and good for your heart, behavior manager and energy reducer for your dog. In the time that I have been training, the highest percentage of people could overcome their dog's behavioral issues by simply increasing the amount of activity they provide their dog each day. How much is enough you may ask? Well, depending on your dog’s weight and physical ability you could start with time on your watch rather than miles. Start with 30 min. and work your way up to an hour. The smallest of dogs have the ability to walk that far at a moderate pace. If that seems like a long way to go think about this fact. In order to maintain the human’s weight, you must complete 10,000 steps each day, depending on your stride that could be as many as 4 to 5 miles daily. Ok, so maybe that’s your goal to get moving that amount of distance each day. Keep a log and track it. If you keep your dog moving on a six foot leash and focus on your movement this should make it more challenging for the dogs to stop sniff and go potty. When walking, I select the potty location, stop walking and give the opportunity to sniff and go. This allows the dog the ability to go and I can keep on track with my walking also.
What is the status of your dog’s diet? No exercise and not measuring your dog's food can assist in the weight creeping up on your dog. First thing I suggest is a measuring cup, especially for your dog’s food. Get one that actually shows you ½ cup etc, this way you keep accurate details on how much is being consumed daily. Two, look at what your dog is eating. Is it a good quality diet? When feeding a lot of these healthier foods the concept is that the dogs needs to eat less and leave less waste in the yard. Make sure you're measuring appropriately. Is your dog older and less active? Look at switching meal time to morning rather than evening. This allows the calories to burn throughout the day rather than sleeping on a full belly. In order to provide a good feeding schedule put down your dog's dish for 15 to 20 min for each meal. Once the timer is up remove the food from the floor and repeat process for the next meal. Dogs will not starve themselves so continue to stick to your time frame and your dog will begin to eat according to your schedule. This is not only good for the waste line but also good leadership.
With new eating and exercise habits, you should incorporate more leash time. The more your leash is involved with your dog’s activities each day the more leadership and guidelines you provide your dog. Everyone wants to have an off-leash trained dog, but there must be foundation training with your leash in order for your dog to understand you effectively without your leash. 15 min each day is a great place to begin as well as your walking. Ask for sits at corners and other commands your dog knows while you’re holding your leash, be sure to praise for all the great things your dog does.
With just these three things as your New Years Resolutions your looking at a healthier and happier 2012!
Happy Holidays from DogsnSuds