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Spring Tips for your Dog!

Happy almost Spring! The weather is getting nice outside especially for the next couple of days! With the weather getting nicer and everyone getting outside more it got me to think about how the dogs have been couped up a lot this winter with the weather being so cold and snowy. So I wanted to give you all couple tips to help you with your dogs as you start to go outside more.

1. Dog's Pads

Because a lot of dogs haven't walked a whole lot this winter their pads have become softer than they normally are in the warmer months. When you start to walk your dogs more keep in mind their pad might rip a little when you walk longer distances. If you would like to walk your dog longer I would recommend getting Musher's Secret from amazon or a pet store. It is a wax that you put on your dogs feet that will put a barrier between the ground and their pads. When you use this, their pads won't crack and rip and they will be a lot more comfortable walking. I tested this out several years a go with my older dog. He had not run all winter a I took him out for a 1-2 mile run/walk and when we got home I noticed he limping a little. When I looked at his pads, they were crack and bleeding some. A couple days later, I took him for another walk/run but this time I used Musher's Secret. When we got home, his pads looked like they did before the walk. It was awesome and he was so much happier.

2. Walking

Your dog might not be able to go as far as they did in the fall since they didn't get in as many walks this winter as they normally do in the summer months. Just like humans, dogs need to be conditioned to longer walks. If you haven't walked your dog very much or very far this past winter, you should take it a little slower than what you are used to with them. Start off with a short walk and build up as the weeks go on. It will keep your dog from getting really sore and uncomfortable and it will help them enjoy the walks more with out getting so tired they don't walk to walk again. Dogs learn in more black and white. Enjoy the walk they will want to do it more often. Had a bad experience with the walk, less likely to walk to go for that walk the next time. So just start off slow. It won't take them long to get back to their distance and pace.

3. Rusty Training

Dogs probably didn't get much training time outside during the winter. Dogs can defiantly get rusty with their training when it hasn't been done consistently. This goes for letting them run around outside with out a line on and they don't come back to you when you call, or they are pulling on the leash more because heeling wasn't practiced as much over the winter. If you have a dog that has regressed some, just back up with the training and start from the beginning. For example, with recall, practice Touch inside and once they come 100% of the time with treats, move the training outside with higher value treats. Have them on a long line so you can step on the line and walk closer to them so they know when ever you yell "Touch" the need to come every time. That's another tip, every time you give your dog a command you need to follow through with the command. Do say, "oh well, we will get it the next time". They need to know that when you give a command, they have to do the command then. If not, it gives them the sense that they don't have to listen to you, they can just do what they want and that can be very frustrating for an owner.

4. Flea and Tick

This doesn't have to do with training but with warm weather, the fleas and ticks are coming out. Make sure you get your dog protected against them early so you don't run into a problem later on. Ticks can cause some health problems in dogs when they bite and fleas make them very uncomfortable and can infest your home!

I hope these tips help you as we enter into warmer months! If you have been one of my clients and need a refresher lesson, feel free to contact me and we can set something up!

Happy Training!


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