In this issue: Spending time with your dog -- The Many Benefits of Dog Sports, Dog-Child Etiquette, Tips for Running with your Dog, classes for Reactive Rovers.
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"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog."
- Edward Hoagland
How Do You Spend Time With Your Dog?

There are so many ways you can spend time with your dog. You might take your dog out for a walk in your neighborhood or at the park or practice a sport.  You might get very creative about how you spend time with your dog because your dog has a behavior issue that it makes it difficult to participate in group sports or activities so you play a game of tug or fetch in the back yard.  In this month's issue of the newsletter we talk about many ways you can spend time with your dog.  Even dogs who may bark or lunge at other dogs can sometimes participate in the sport of Nose Work.  You may have a regular running routine and want your dog to join you.  And anytime you are spending time with your dog and children, then we provide you with some important tips for keeping everyone safe and happy.  Enjoy. 

A World of Dogs

The Many Benefits of Dog Sports

If you think of the practice of dog sports as a competitive and fairly serious business, you’re only about 10 percent right. Just as in human athletic pursuits, the vast majority of dog sports enthusiasts are hobbyists; happy amateurs not much interested in ribbons or plaques. So what hooks people? The numerous benefits two and four-legged sportsmen alike reap. For starters, a quick alphabetic inventory reveals something for every ability and temperament: agility, canis cross, disc dog, dock diving, earth dog, flyball, freestyle, herding, lure coursing, mushing, nose work, rally-o, tracking, treibball, and weight pulling. An exhaustive list would be much longer, of course, and still wouldn’t include the many fun, creative activity classes trainers, dog facilities, and dog groups might offer.

On the two-legged side of the benefits scoreboard, consider the ageless appeal of all this variety. We expect kids to enjoy playing sports with furry friends, but don’t underestimate the delicious challenge to an analytical adult of helping her dog herd a group of uncooperative sheep into an enclosure. Or the allure of canine freestyle to an artistic soul, whether 23 or 53. Retirees with time on their hands can cherry-pick a dog sport that offers community as well as activity. Pile on the advantages of mental and physical exercise—at whichever level suits—and it’s a no-brainer.

Of course the positive effects on dogs double up as human perks. First, a tired dog is a good dog. Burning off excess energy through regular activities, preferably exercising both mind and body, is key to a happier, healthier, and more polite dog. If Fido is blissfully conked out after a morning’s rally-o, he is less likely to scavenge the trash. Also, dog sports involve cross-species collaboration and therefore boost communication skills on both sides. One common side effect of this is that dogs start to pay more rapt attention to their humans; another is increased confidence. Fun on the field has transformed many a dog from jittery to jaunty. Best of all perhaps is the deepened relationship that often results—something many cite as their chief reason for taking up a dog sport.

Living with Dogs

Dog-Child Etiquette

The risk of being bitten by a dog is low compared to other common causes of accidents, in or out of the  household, but that’s no consolation to those who find themselves on  the business end of a pair of canine choppers. Kids especially are vulnerable. They tend to get excited around dogs and might approach too
suddenly, shout too loudly, or dish out well meant but unwanted hugs. To keep kids safe, here’s a primer on what to teach them:

Don’t know the dog? Avoid. Lesson number one for kids is to avoid dogs they don’t know. Never approach an unfamiliar dog, especially one who’s tied up or confined behind a fence or in a car, regardless of the dog’s size or overpowering cuteness.

Know the dog well? Respect the space. Just like people, dogs have personal space we should respect, particularly during dinnertime, naptime etc. Tell your kids not to approach, touch, or try to play with any dog sleeping, eating, or chewing on a toy or bone. Mommy dogs with puppies are also best left alone. This goes for both strange and well-known dogs, even your own.

At all times: Let the dog choose. “How should a child approach a dog?” is really a trick question. Because they shouldn’t. A guardian may say your child can greet an unfamiliar dog, but it should still be up to the dog to choose whether she wants to be petted. How? Let the dog approach. This goes for dogs your child knows well too. The likelihood of any kind of incident between dogs and your child is greatly reduced by following this one simple rule.

Finally, if you’re the guardian, be your dog’s advocate. Even if you know your dog to be friendly, always let your dog choose whether to approach for a pet and respect her wishes when she doesn’t.     

Dogs in Action

Tips for Running With Your Dog
If your dog is healthy, loves to run, and is capable of running a respectable distance, you have the makings of a wonderful running partner—whether Labrador or toy poodle mix. Dogs don’t mind if you rouse them at the crack of dawn
and never fuss about runny noses or side stitches. But unless you happen to share your life with a born side runner (like Dalmatians, once bred to run alongside fire engines), you may have to teach your dog the human version of running. Dogs like to go faster than people, check out interesting smells along the route, and chase the occasional squirrel up a tree.

If you haven’t done so already, the first step is to teach your dog good on-leash manners during walks. Then proceed to walks interspersed with periods of jogging and finally graduate to full runs. Build distance and time slowly—in increments of 10 minutes, for example—to ensure your dog’s muscles and connective tissue have time to adapt to the challenge without injury. Don’t be discouraged if your dog is distracted or lags behind; give her time to figure out what she’s supposed to do. Running steadily without pause isn’t immediately logical to a dog, but if you’re patient she will catch on soon and likely love it.
Our Services

LoMa dog logoSchedule a Private Training Session
Whether your dog is showing common behavior issues (jumping up, pulling on the leash, puppy nipping) or severe problems (separation distress, guarding food or toys, fear of unfamiliar people, reactivity to other dogs or people, thunderstorm phobia and more) - Get an evaluation and private training.  See the schedule for initial consultations here

Attend a Seminar
Leave your dog at home. Come to learn through presentation, video and demonstration. Volunteers and staff from shelter and rescue groups can attend for free.

Dogs With Issues -- Starts September 14th!
Aggression, Reactivity and Fear – Get practical strategies for immediate relief from your dog's fears.  Learn to control your dog's reactivity through state-of-the-art training options.  Keep everyone safe. 

Take a Class with Your Dog
Reactive Rover -- Starts Monday, Sept 28th
Start your dog's transformation. Walk in the neighborhood without going crazy. Have visitors over comfortably.  Be sure to also sign up for the Dogs With Issues seminar on Sept 14th and 21st.

Get Control! -- Thursdays at 7:00

A single class with quick solutions for jumping up, pulling on the leash, nipping, and excitement barking.

Puppy Preschool -- Wednesdays at 7:00
The most important class your dog may ever take!  Don't miss your puppy's critical socialization period, 8 to 16 weeks

All the Basics Obedience - Wednesdays at 8:00
Covering all the obedience skills your dog needs to be a well-mannered member of your family. Have guests over to visit while your dog greets politely, take a walk with your dog easily at your side.
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