Thomas and I have raised dogs before but going through this training course has shown how much we don't know and how to correct what we were doing wrong. We also learned some interesting things about animals that I would like to share with you.
- A good way to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated is to put them on a treadmill. Both Jake and Maggie have both learned how to walk on the treadmill with Maggie at a level 2 and Jake at a level 1. This eliminates anxiety and helps in learning new tasks and commands. You can get a cheap treadmill on Craigslist or even at yard sales if you don't want to spend a lot of money.
- Putting them on a treadmill also helps keep their legs and hips strong and builds muscle.
- Every day twice a day I play "tricks" with the pups and if I forget, they remind me. I say..."do you want to play tricks?" and they know exactly what that means. We go over every command they have been taught with a reward at the end and they love this game.
- Another way to keep their little brains sharp is to name your pet's toys. I ask Jake and Maggie to retrieve whatever toy I have asked for and they run and get it with their tails wagging.
- Did you know that large dogs have a problem moving their back legs in comparison to their front legs. Jake and Maggie are the only dogs I have ever experienced this with but they won't get into the vehicle without help. Now I admit they are very spoiled but we literally have to pick up their back legs up for them. This can be stopped with some coaching and training but they have not quite fully picked this command up yet. The pups are allowed on our furniture and for the first several months would not jump on the couch without us helping them. Maggie is now jumping on the furniture herself and Jake does it when he feels like it. They will be a year old next month!
- What to do on a rainy day when you can't go for a walk??? If you have steps in your house, stand at the top and throw the ball gently down the steps commanding your dog to run and get it. As long as they are not hurting themselves, keep this game going for awhile. It will definitely wear them out.
- Play hide and seek with their favorite toy. This helps occupy their time and keeps them from getting bored.
- It never hurts to learn something new. Teaching your dog something new with positive reward can help with boredom.
Hope these little tidbits helped. Stay tuned for more pictures and videos. Jake and Maggie's 1st birthday is right around the corner and we will be having a birthday party for them! We are bringing out their baby pool again. Can't wait to see what they do with that!