Holistic Animal Care: Easy Training Ideas for Your Dog, by Jenny Magli

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For many pet parents and families, coming home to a bouncing and happy bundle of fur can’t be beat!

All the kisses and playful antics that come with such warm greetings can really help us forget any troubles we may have encountered earlier in the day. These furry friends have waited all day for their “pack” to come back together, and they are filled with total joy at our arrival. This is the time to interact with them in one way or another (besides taking them out). This could include talking to them, playing, cuddling, sitting with them, walking, or whatever it takes to show our love. Pets crave our positive attention, and look forward to whatever time and affection we can give them.

Sometimes when the weather begins to cool off, it becomes more “comfortable” to be inside. There are some easy activities you can do with your pet to ward off boredom, stimulate the mind, and enjoy each other’s company. Examples of this might include teaching some tricks or basic commands, which can be useful training as well. There are many resources available for training tips and tricks in books and on the internet. Have fun investigating! Here are a few examples to get you started:

Kiss – If you enjoy wet doggy kisses, this is an easy trick to teach. All it takes is applying a small amount of a sticky treat to your cheek. Natural peanut butter (no sugar free or artificial sweeteners in this!) or a little glob of cream cheese should work well. Then add the command/cue of “kiss.” (Of course, if you have a biting puppy or an aggressive/unmanageable dog, it’s likely best to skip this lesson!) Once the trick is done, be sure to reward with praise as well. Kids will likely get a real charge out of this too! Once taught, this trick can also help prevent unwanted licking.

Sit – This is a basic command that is also easy to teach. Repetition and patience are necessary. Grab a handful of treats, and while in a quiet room with no distractions, watch and wait for your dog to sit. When your dog does, reward him or her generously with a treat. Then wait again for another “sit.” Say “sit” right away, and reward with more treats and pets. Repeat this several times. Eventually your dog will figure out it’s worth “sitting” to get a treat!

Come – This trick/command could save your dog’s life! This is pretty easy. Just go up to your dog and give the command you will use to call him or her (for example, “Here, Peaches” or “Fido come”) and give the dog a treat (bacon, chicken, dried liver, etc.). Each time your dog comes to you, give a pet and place a few fingers under his or her collar before you give a treat. This last is to get the dog accustomed to being held).

It’s important to vary the types of rewards during the training process.

Repeat this trick/command at different times throughout the day and in different situations, such as when the dog is interested in something else. Try this when you’re in different rooms as well. Eventually your dog should be willing to honor the command without hesitation!

I hope this article has shown you that with a little searching, there are many ways to learn to entertain both you and your pets when colder weather makes outdoor activities a little more challenging. Regardless, enjoy and have fun with your furry friend!

*Readers are reminded it is entirely of their own accord, right, and responsibility to make informed and educated decisions/choices regarding interaction with your pet. Jenny Magli and Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine disclaim any liability for the decisions you make based on the ideas provided here.

Jenny is a Certified Natural Health Consultant for pets and their people, Healing Touch for Animals (Level 2) and NES Bioenergetics Practitioner. Consultations are done over the phone and via email. To contact, call (906) 235-3524 or email at 1healthlink@gmail.com.

Reprinted with permission from the Fall 2019 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine, copyright 2019. All rights reserved

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