As September creeps upon us and things slowly have been returning to more of a “pre covid” normal, many dogs will soon be returning to days spent without their humans around or experiencing this for the first time. Adults are returning to work, summer vacation and days off are coming to an end, and children are returning to the classroom for another year of learning. With this happening some dogs will experience stress and some may show signs of Separation Anxiety. Hopefully they do not have a wild time like Kevin in the classic Home Alone.
We want to chat about nail trims briefly. Did you know that if your dog's nails get too long it can cause them pain and eventually also start to affect their posture? The nails will continue to grow and can loop back and start growing into their pads as well in extreme cases. Whether you take your dog to a groomer or do them yourself at home it is important to keep your dog's nails at an appropriate length. If you have a very active dog they will naturally wear down with use (especially on different surfaces such as pavement & concrete etc) but this is often not enough and shouldn't replace proper trims. You can use either a nail clipper or a dremel (here at Sam's house we like using a dremel and have found our dogs like it much more than the pressure caused by clippers).
Not sure where to start? Have a dog that HATES having their feet touched or tries to bite you when you trim their nails?
Yesterday was dog food delivery day here at Canine Coaching! Pet nutrition is something we are really interested in and passionate about. Did you know what you feed your dog can have implications on their health, overall longevity, and their quality of life, and even their behaviour?
Something we have seen an increase in over the last few years is reactivity - whether from fear or excitability. We have a few different theories on why this has suddenly become more commonplace such as bad breeding, more shelter dogs, weaker leadership/ structure in homes, as well as too much focus on “socialization” and not enough exposure. Our blog on exposure is a great read on what we believe is the best way to introduce puppies and dogs to new things in a way to build them up and create confidence. (You can read it here.)
Unfortunately, with COVID, we are predicting there will be even more reactive dogs in the future. We can personally say that we are seeing some of this in our dog Viking, whom we got the October before COVID shutdowns began last March. While we tried to still expose him to a variety of things the number of outings went WAY down as of the March shutdowns and his time around other people and new experiences were less than it needed to be for a breed such as his. All this means now is that we have to put in some extra work and be dedicated to helping to build his confidence and get him more comfortable around new people and things.
It's been said that anything worth doing is worth doing right. And what is right, in our books, is to use baby steps to achieve our goals. With anything, there are always steps to learn something. We don't just know how to do algebra. First, we learn our numbers, then adding, subtracting, multiplication and division. Then we get weird and start adding letters in. In order to be really good at advanced math, we have to master the basics first. Think of a marathon runner - they don't just become one overnight. As a baby, they start by pulling themselves around, then crawling, and finally, they take their first step. Once they are older and the desire to become a runner is born they start with small distances and build up stamina for greater lengths and durations. We have found the same theory applies to most any goals - personal or in dog training. Look at the end game and then break it down. What are the little steps that make up the big picture? Not sure how to do this?
Samantha is the Owner and face behind Canine Coaching. She believes all dogs (both young and old) are capable of learning and are happier being well-mannered members of the family! Samantha resides in Central Alberta with her Husband on their acreage with their two German Shepherds Tori and Baron.