Friday, January 25, 2013

Movin' and Groovin'

 I'm a multi-tasker.  I'm that person who is trying to make breakfast and prep dinner at the same time. The person who is using a walk with a stroller, and dogs as a warm up ... dropping them off at home and then heading back out to do a training run for a marathon or half marathon.  
 Once again, my husband an I are moving to another duty station and are in the throes of chaos. This presents many, many...many opportunities for my inner secretary/event coordinator/household CEO to shine.  As crazy as this time is for my family, I can't help but see the strain it puts onto our quadrupeds. 
I have see this as an area to continue to incorporate into my multi-tasking, always keeping them in the forefront of my mind.  Right up there with my child and coffee. : )
Now, if you are like me, I can tell you that this is a great experience for learning how to practice/polish some of our obedience skills, while refreshing leash skills.  I LOVE exercises that tackle several behaviors at one time!
  Today, EVERYTHING is the house is being loaded onto a truck... which means open doors.  I decided to take this time to leash up the boys and have them tag along everywhere with me...even while just sitting and blogging.This has been particularly great for Linus because he is by far the most overzealous walker I have owned.  He STILL, at age 5, requires refreshers every so often that, yes there is indeed a human attached to him!  
 I also know that we will be hitting the road soon to drive to visit family, and then on to our new home.  Grooming is a must!  
 What many dog owners don't realize is that the activity that most of them DREAD, is one of their dogs' most favorite times.  Granted, if you have a dog that is spooky on the bath time, it isn't fun and can be an awful time.  I'm happy to offer advice if you fall into this category... just message me! 
 Spending time brushing/bathing your dog is one-on-one time for them.  They love that attention, and let's face it... they like to feel good.  How wonderful do you feel after having someone wash/cut/style your hair??
 There are other advantages to spending time grooming (at least weekly, more frequently if you own a long-haired breed).  Namely, being in the know of their physical condition.  You can spot lots of lumps 'n bumps when you are brushing out your dog.  Many times, an owner will not be aware of scratches/cuts until there is infection or noticeable agitation to the dog. 
 It's also a great time to teach commands such as : Stand, Stay, and to be calm during handling. 
I will be offering weekly advice on these steps to give you tips on practical way to work with your dog, indoors given the season.  Please take advantage of the fact that if you do have a dog in serious need of obedience training or just a refresher, the familiar and calm surroundings of your home are the ideal spot to begin.  There will be few distractions to interfere with your work! 
This week, I will take you through indoor leash training and sit/settle. 
Enjoy and happy training!