Fall is here, the weather is crisp and cool. There are so many fun things to do with your dog. Take your dog with you on a nature walk to enjoy the last days of dry, warm weather while enjoying the changing colors. This is a good time to work on your puppy or dog’s socialization. Take them to pumpkin patches, small farmer’s markets or Willamette Valley’s many parks. I recently took Geo to our local hardware center, then for a short hike and visit to Northern Lights Pumpkin Patch. It was a fun couple of hours. If your dog is ready-loose leash walking, has a good sit/stay, doesn’t bark or jump, and is well socialized-then take him with you while the kids trick or treat in your neighborhood.
When you walk your dog in the park to enjoy Willamette Valley’s changing season, work on leash skills for a few minutes at a time. Keep it fun by letting your dog sniff the damp earth and falling leaves. An enjoyable hour spent together will result in a canine snooze when you get home and you have completed your training session for the day.
If you take Rover to the pumpkin patch or public event, check the rules and size of event first. Are leashed dogs allowed? Is your dog ready for a large crowd? Do you have Plan B if your dog lets you know he is frightened and needs space? I moved Geo away from the crowd at Northern Lights when his ears went back and he started yawning. He was not sleepy. Yawning is a sign of stress for dogs.
If your dog can accompany you while you take your little super hero out to celebrate Halloween, find a bright colored bandanna or reflective vest for Rover’s costume. This might not be the best time for Rover to meet new little goblins up close, but Rover can spend quality time with your family members while cruising around the neighborhood.
You can work on training while giving out treats, when the doorbell rings, Rover gets a treat for being quiet. It helps to have two people, one to hand out the people treats and one to reward Rover. I have a friend who uses her porch window to deliver treats through while rewarding Rover for practicing not jumping or sits/down stays. Her dogs love to hear another “customer” approach her window because they know their good manners will get those rewards.
If staying indoors is your thing and Rover’s manners could be improved, I offer open enrollment good manners class which means you can start any time. I offer classes on several different days and times. My training room is temperature controlled and safety is my #1 concern while coaching you and your dog.
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