I’m not a massive fan of New Years resolutions... mainly because I never stick to them so they are just New Years disappointments!
However, I have been a dog trainer for long enough to know that many people have New Years resolutions about their dogs, my diary is already very busy with people making plans for training their dogs so I thought that I would suggest some resolutions that we can all get behind.
Time - looking at ways to increase the amount of time we spend with our dog. Not just being in the same physical place as the dog but activiely spending time with our dogs, doing something that they enjoy, this could just be curling up on the sofa together. My resolution for spending more time with my dog is to do more scent work with her, I only have to get the tin out and she is so excited so I am going to look for more courses for her and I to attend so we can spend more time working on this together.
Exercise - again this doesn’t have to be out walking for hours and hours with our dogs (lets face it a lot of dogs won’t care much for this) but just looking at other ways to exercise our dogs both mentally and physically. Enrichement activities such as interactive feeding, sniffing and training can all count as exercise and can be made specific for your dogs age and ability.
Training - this is always going to turn up on my list isn’t it. Training our dogs is a life long commitment, not something that is reserved to their first few months or even year of their lives. Practicing the basics such as recall and leave it (as I harp on about in class) can be life saving pieces of training and as such you need to remind your dog over and over that they get paid for listening! Remember all that algebra we learnt at school??? No me neither, because I never use it, it isn’t something that crops up in dog training that often so I just forget it. If you answered yest to this I can only guess that you are either a savant that can remember everything or you practice this on a regular basis. It’s the same for our dogs, if you don’t practice it, you’ll lose it.
Food - make it a New Years resolution to feed your dog the very best you can afford and MEASURE IT OUT. If you don’t measure it out you can easily over feed and then we end up with obese dogs without even noticing and this can have so many knock on effects for our dogs.
Try something new with your dog - this could be a fun dog show, a new class, or just taking them to new places. If you stick to New Years Resolutions numbers 1, 2, & 3 then you can have a well trained dog you can take anywhere and everywhere. This will greatly increase your dogs quality of life.
What are your New Years resolutions for your dogs?
Mille hopes you all had a fab christmas :)