Monthly Archives: March 2020

Three Secrets to Safe & Effective Exercise for Your Dog

It’s no secret that exercising your dog can lead to a happier and healthier pup – not to mention a quieter house and a happier you. The complication is that exercising your dog takes time and sometimes we struggle to find time to exercise ourselves. However, without safe and effective exercise, your dog can gain weight, risk costly injury, and tear apart the house in response to pent up energy. Consider how you exercise your dog now: perhaps you play tug with your Chihuahua in the living room, jog or play fetch with your active retriever, or ask your senior mixed breed to sit in the kitchen — all of these activities can exercise your dog both physically and mentally. Let’s further explore how you can make the most of your time with your dog while safely and effectively gaining the benefits of exercise.

Here are three secrets to safely and effectively exercising your dog through activities and games that you probably already play.

1. Discuss with your veterinarian

Before beginning any exercise (even training class!), it’s important to get a full health check with your local veterinarian. Let your vet know which activities you are thinking about pursuing, and ask which activities would be most appropriate for your dog’s age, musculoskeletal structure, and preferences. Remember, just like with children, jumping from high places or playing on hard surfaces can be detrimental to joints. Be sure to ask how long the activities should last, how intense they should be, and about any necessary equipment or weather precautions. Just because your dog wants to fetch constantly, doesn’t necessarily mean that this high impact, sustained exercise is healthy. Describe the activity and environment to your vet in detail, and be sure to get clearance before enjoying with your pup.

2. Explore variation

After speaking with your veterinarian about appropriate activities for your dog, plan to vary the types of activities each day. If your veterinarian approved some shorter distance jogs for your pup, perhaps the next day you could spread his food in the backyard as a scavenger hunt. Varying high intensity with low intensity workouts is just as stimulating for your pup, and the variation will keep him engaged. You can also vary exercises within the activity itself. For example, if you frequently throw a ball or disc for your dog until she lies down and pants, consider asking for tricks between different types of throws. By varying distances and body movements you can help your dog regulate her arousal and stay safe.

3. Remember warms up & cool down

Before beginning any activity, it’s important to set up your dog for success. Dogs have the same basic musculoskeletal components as people, and therefore they can sustain similar injuries from rigorous use or clumsy accidents. However, dogs are more athletic compared to humans (even your couch potato probably has a higher VO2max than you!), and they can exert a lot of energy at playtime. It’s important to warm up and cool down your dog’s muscles before use. Consider the type of exercise and what body parts are involved, and plan for a warm up. For example, if you’re about to open the back door for your dog to dash out with his powerful hind legs, take a couple walking laps around the living room first. Ask for a few repetitions of sit and put a treat in front of his nose to lure him in a few circles before opening the door. Much like a short jog, squats, and plyometrics before a sprint, these exercises can help protect your dog’s soft tissue before dashing off. The easiest part is that the same exercises can be performed in reverse for a quick cool down.

Using these three secrets, you can safely and effectively exercise your dog in the same amount of time and help you and your pup enjoy the benefits. Through warms ups/cool downs and varying your dog’s activities you can tire your pup out in no time at all. Talking to your veterinarian about the type, duration, and intensity of activity can also tailor the exercise to your dog and avoid costly injury. 

Many caretakers believe that their dog needs to sprint in order to get tired, when in reality sniffing, training, or a combination can be just as taxing. Check out the table below for more ideas! Challenge yourself this week to change one thing about your dog’s exercise routine, and see if you enjoy a calmer, healthier dog!

 

Activity

Variation

Warm up/cool down

Hide a treat/toy in the house

High/low places, obstacles, multiple rooms

Walk laps, sits, crawls

Sniffy walk

Hide treats, change route

Walk laps, sits

Tug

Side to side, stop/go, 2 tugs

Jog laps, play bow, weight shift

Fetch

Short/long distances, walking breaks, sit/down/spin/beg/back

Jog laps, downs, circles

Jog

Walk/run, canicross, sniff breaks

Sniff, walk laps, sits

 

 

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Forget About Stress & Anxiety

POSITIONING THEMSELVES FOR REINFORCEMENT First off, sorry. The title was designed to get your attention. We cannot forget about stress and anxiety but rather than focus on those conditions we assume a dog is experiencing, let’s get down to the business of behavior. It has been important that people have been encouraged to […]

The post Forget About Stress & Anxiety appeared first on Fearful Dogs.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Forget About Stress & Anxiety

POSITIONING THEMSELVES FOR REINFORCEMENT First off, sorry. The title was designed to get your attention. We cannot forget about stress and anxiety but rather than focus on those conditions we assume a dog is experiencing, let’s get down to the business of behavior. It has been important that people have been encouraged to […]

The post Forget About Stress & Anxiety appeared first on Fearful Dogs.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Episode 813 – How to be an effective online learner from home

Victoria and Aly dig into online learning, including how best to give dog trainers the tools and education they need to be truly successful at their jobs. Also discussed, definitions and clarifications of e-learning terminology and jargon in the adult learning field, including synchronous and asynchronous learning, in-person, online, blended, etc. The benefits of choosing an online course that fits your schedule rather than the other way around, and the importance of ensuring a relationship with your instructor as well as the use of storytelling in instructional design. Whether or not it’s useful to take notes and write things down while learning online.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why is My Dog Excessively Licking His Paws?

Paw licking causes and remedies.
dog licks paw

Paw licking is a common behavior in dogs, but a healthy dog should not excessively paw lick, and a history of excessive licking could be a red flag for a more serious problem. While it’s true they might simply be grooming themselves, paw chewing could indicate something more going on if they are doing it all the time. It doesn’t help that all that constant foot licking can also cause a secondary infection (bacterial or yeast) due to the extra moisture.

An allergic reaction in the skin is the most common reason why dogs will chew their paws excessively. The good news here is that many of the causes of a dog’s paw licking can be resolved with home treatment alone.

So, why do dogs lick in the first place?

Common Causes for Paw Licking

Food Allergies
Environmental Allergies
Flea Allergies
Dry Skin
Obsessive Behavior
Anxious Behavior

FOOD & ENVIRONMENTAL ALLERGIES

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Episode 811 – The New Normal: Distance Learning & Telecommuting

Victoria and Aly talk about how to be more effective when learning and working from home. Social distancing is the thing these days, but how do we keep from going nuts and what are the best practices to stay productive and efficient when working or learning from home. Dealing with the social aspect of isolation. Aly shares some top tips for how to be productive while staying home, including staying engaged and avoiding passivity. The use of rituals of physical, technical and mental preparation in staying efficient at home.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Forget About Stress & Anxiety

POSITIONING THEMSELVES FOR REINFORCEMENT First off, sorry. The title was designed to get your attention. We cannot forget about stress and anxiety but rather than focus on those conditions we assume a dog is experiencing, let’s get down to the business of behavior. It has been important that people have been encouraged to […]

The post Forget About Stress & Anxiety appeared first on Fearful Dogs.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet Barkley

Barkley loves playing ball, going to doggie daycare to play with his buddies, looking at the moon and anyone who gives him attention.

Tags: 

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Choosing the Best Dog Food Before Your Dog Gets Sick

Don’t wait until your dog’s sick to look at what you’re putting in her bowl.
how to choose the best dog food

You’ve just returned from the veterinarian’s office and are completely overwhelmed—your beloved 10-year-old Dachshund, Cody, has been diagnosed with diabetes. Your veterinarian told you that Cody is very sick, and that if he doesn’t stay on the proper diet, he could die. You never realized how important your dog’s diet and weight were to his health. You think back on all those delicious dog treats you gave him and worry that your loving care may have somehow harmed him. You want to do everything right from this day forward, but don’t know where to start.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Episode 811 – The New Normal: Distance Learning & Telecommuting

Victoria and Aly talk about how to be more effective when learning and working from home. Social distancing is the thing these days, but how do we keep from going nuts and what are the best practices to stay productive and efficient when working or learning from home. Dealing with the social aspect of isolation. Aly shares some top tips for how to be productive while staying home, including staying engaged and avoiding passivity. The use of rituals of physical, technical and mental preparation in staying efficient at home.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment