5 tips to keep your dog on track

Working with your dog doesn’t need to take hours out of your already busy day. Establishing healthy habits can do wonders for your pet and make life easier for both of you.

1.  It’s always good to review the basics – and never too late to learn new tricks. “Sit”, “down”, and “shake” are commands most dogs can do and simply practicing them from time-to-time reinforces the relationship between dog and master. The command of “stay” or “wait” is especially important to teach and reinforce patience (perfect for the anxious pooch). See how long you can go... Can you leave the room? Can you sit on the ground without them running to you before you command “come”? Stretch it out, and reward them with healthy, tasty treats for a job well done.

2.  Bond - Learning and practicing commands is a great relationship builder and can help any dog build confidence. But, so can quality cuddle or play time. Simply taking that time to bond with your pet can ease a lot of anxiety and strengthens a trusting relationship.

3.  Don’t spoil!  Sure, they’re adorable and you want to shower them with love every second, but accidentally rewarding bad behavior is a no-no and confusing for pooch. Ignoring your pet, or calmly putting in a “timeout” after they’re naughty can work wonders, just as positive reinforcements for good behavior can. Making them “earn” some extra attention, a walk, and even their daily meals by following a quick command sets limits and reminds them who’s boss. Reinforce the boundaries for your dog – and stick to it.

4.Check-ups  - Sometimes dogs act up if they aren’t feeling well. Hidden hives, food sensitives and allergies can lead to destructive behavior. Upset tummies can lead to destressed pets and poor eating habits. Making sure they are healthy with a vet visit and eating quality, nutritious food has saved many pet owners endless frustration.

5.  Exercise and stimulus - Walks, games of fetch and even hide-and-seek are fun for Fido and you! Making sure your dog gets out all that energy is key for good behavior. Dog puzzles and hiding favorite toys or healthy treats for your pets to find are great activities for the “thinkers” who get bored on their own.

The journey of learning and bonding with your dog goes well beyond puppyhood. Taking the time to reward good behavior, leading a healthy lifestyle and remaining consistent is key for a happy, trusting relationship. 

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