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Making good dogs GREAT!

Last month we talked about getting your dog’s physical health ready for spring, and this month we want to talk about getting your dog’s mental health ready for spring.

For months now your dog has been living in a bubble. Warmer months see a lot more dogs on outdoor adventures, along with loud noises, tasty smells, and wild animals. This increases the chances that your dog may encounter new friends – and foes – start barking, over-excitement, and frayed nerves. Working now to desensitize your dog before they get caught up in the excitement will help to reinforce training your dog has already mastered, as well as keep walks, visiting, and camping a joy for you both.

Loud noises, for example, are a common warm weather challenge, often caused by fireworks, parties, boats, and motorcycles. Your dog’s fight or flight instinct is strong, and since they aren’t wild dogs they tend to try to flee fearfully. It’s up to you to show your dog that these noises are no big deal by making their world huge! Check your gear – leash, harness, etc., - and get your dog out there in the open. Walk to the bus station and sit on a bench as the buses go by. It’s okay for Spring Trainingyour dog to be scared, but it’s important to let them see that you aren’t bothered by the bus. When your dog relaxes around the buses, give them a pat and tell them they’re a good dog. You can repeat this for all kinds of startling or distracting activity. Pay attention to what time of day your neighbours tend to walk their dogs and walk yours too. Take a stroll through the big public park in the early evening when everyone else is. Let your dog see, smell, and experience everything the world has to offer while consistently reinforcing training.

Ask a friend if you can practice training skills in their backyard – an unfamiliar space – and give commands such as Sit, Stay, and Come when you see another dog, (or cat, or squirrel), while out on walks. If you come across a bear on a hike, or an aggressive dog, or you’re visiting this summer, you need your dog to obey immediately for everyone’s safety and comfort. Sign up for a refresher or next-level training camp to get your spring training off on the right paw.

And last, but not least, your dog should be socialized with other dogs. One of the safest ways to socialize your dog is with play dates with dog-owner friends. This way you can be comfortable that the other dog isn’t likely to be carrying a communicable disease, and you can purposefully meet up with a dog already socialized to show yours how it’s done. Another great idea is Dog Daycare at New Approach Canine. Sign up for 1 day, all days, full days, or half days!

New Approach Canine is pleased to help you get you and your dog ready for lots of outdoor playtime this summer. Call us at (519) 208-5559 to find out more.

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"New Approach is a wonderful place to leave your pet. With leaving my puppy during the day I know I don't have any worries and this gives her an opportunity to socialize with other dogs which is extremely important for development. Mike handles all the dogs with care and I love the way he interacts with all the animals in his care."

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Happy Dogs

These three components are the perfect formula for a healthy and happy dog. Training is important not just for discipline but also to help strengthen the bond between you and your dog by establishing boundaries. Daycare keeps your dog well exercised but more importantly keeps him/her socialized. Grooming is not just about aesthetics. More importantly, a good groomer may recognize things like skin conditions or suspicious lumps and bumps

Together these components are the key to your dogs success.

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