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How to stay healthy and fit with the help of your pet

When you’re balancing a social life, work, and family responsibilities, it can be difficult to find time for exercise. However, you’re in luck if you’re a pet owner.

You should start thinking of your pet as an exercise partner. Pets make the perfect workout partners. Your pet is always excited to follow you wherever you go and that energy is contagious.

Your commitment to your pet will help you stick with the workout routine. You’re more likely to accomplish the recommended time of daily exercise than people who don’t own a pet. There are also other activities you can do together while bonding more.

Walk with your dog

Regular walks are important for your pet’s health, as well. Some active dogs require more than one walk a day. The type of dog you own and its age and fitness, besides yours, are factors in determining how long the walks should be.

Try to work up to 40 minutes walking at a fast pace daily. Change the route to have new scents and challenges like bark-filled paths, sandy beaches, and hills.  A hike with your dog is a good idea, considering your back and knees can handle it. It’s a good way to add strength to your legs.

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Swim with your dog

Swimming offers a great workout for your muscles without the unpleasant impact associated with running and jogging. If you don’t live near water, find a clean body of water or pool free of currents. Your dog must wear a life preserver when in water for both of you to feel secure and relaxed. 

The health of your heart will be improved if you swim at least 3 times a week. Also, you’ll improve muscle tone and strength, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. 

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Play with your dog

If your pet likes to chase a toy or ball, find a place and unleash it. Prevent injury to your arm and use ball launchers that will toss the ball further than you can. Most importantly, don’t stand while it runs. Teach your dog to wait while you throw the ball and try to race together.

To keep your dog interested, fling the object in diverse directions and distances. Try to use two flying discs. When the dog catches the first disk, toss the second. While it’s racing after the second, you run to collect the first disk. If you don’t want to run, try doing jumping jacks or squats while you wait. 

Benefits of owning a dog 

Dog owners have many social and health benefits by walking their dog regularly. As we age, making friends becomes harder. But, that’s not the case with dog owners. Pet owners start a conversation more easily with other pet owners during walks. They open up and tell stories about their favorite companion. 

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Your pet keeps you active and fit. Some health benefits include reduced stress, lower blood pressure, better cardiovascular fitness, and stronger bones and muscles. They are also amazing motivators since they always want to go out and exercise. When you realize how much they enjoy the workout routine, you’ll be looking forward to it as much as them.

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5 signs showing your dog needs a professional dog trainer

Don’t be ashamed of that, it isn’t a bad thing at all. There are minor issues that can turn into big problems. These issues may not even seem like behavior problems to you now, but they can grow into major disturbances.

Most dog owners need to go to an obedience class or hire a professional dog trainer at some time, whether they’d like to admit it or not. 

Your best choice is to hire a professional dog trainer at the first sign rather than wait until someone is harmed. Even if your loving dog means well, bad behavior is frowned upon and it can lead to legal issues. It’s only our responsibility to ensure our dogs are good canine neighbors! So, if you notice any of the following signs, you’ll need to hire a dog trainer.

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Pulling on the leash

This may seem like a minor behavior, but it can grow into something more. First, if your dog constantly drags you around, it is uncomfortable and annoying. But most importantly, this means you’re not in control at all and the dog will take you wherever he wants to go. 

Heavy pulling can strain your muscles and it can even drag you to the ground. This is dangerous for everyone around, not only you, especially when your dog will notice a strange person or another dog. 

Jumping

When dogs jump, they show their affection and love, but it’s extremely inappropriate. Jumping may hurt. People around you don’t want to be knocked over and scratched. Also, this can lead to serious injuries. Even if your dog is friendly, make sure your dog knows that jumping on people is not an option. To be a responsible dog owner you need to show your dog ways to display love and affection that don’t hurt or scare anyone.

Nipping/Growling

Nipping and growling are the earliest signs of aggression in dogs. Dogs that started with light warning nips and growls escalated into full-blown attacks. So, the most serious bites come from those nips and growls. You need to teach your dog that behavior is unacceptable, no matter when or why the dog has nipped or growled at anyone. This is a warning sign indicating to hire a professional trainer immediately since this danger could pose if it escalates.  

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Guarding objects

Even if someone is trying to take your dog’s favorite bone, he should never bite or growl at anyone. Resource guarding is a serious problem and should be addressed by a trainer instantly. The dog might decide to resource guard anything from a treat, toy, bone, to bed, chair, couch, etc. This means the dog is claiming that a particular item is his or hers and will be aggressively defended if needed.

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Door bolting

Door bolting is a serious issue that many dog owners face. This is considered a serious problem since it poses a safety concern to both the public and your dog. When your dog escapes from your house, he could easily wind up in dangerous traffic or run far away. Whatever his or her reason is, the dog should know to stay inside your house unless you release him for a walk.

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How to train your hyperactive dog

High-energy dogs are charming for their happy temperaments and big personalities, but shelters are full of former pets deemed “too much to handle.”

If you go on two walks daily and spend many hours playing fetch, but your dog is still running around you, then welcome to the club of owners raising a hyperactive dog. 

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These seemingly tireless canines are a joy to have them, but admit it, training that wriggly mass of fur was very hard. If you are an owner of a hyperactive dog, don’t give up on training. Instead, try the following tips to focus your dog’s energy on learning new skills.

Exercise before training 

Imagine a six-year-old forced to sit in school all day without taking any breaks for recess. They’ll flounder in their seat and do anything except what you want them to do. That’s exactly how your dog will behave if you try to train him without first releasing some of his energy. The training sessions need to be structured times when the dog has a full focus on you. Your chances are higher at keeping his attention if you schedule your sessions for right after he gets back from his walk or after a rousing game of fetch.

Make training fun for your hyperactive dog

If your dog is not interested in what you want him to do, you’ll never be able to force him to do anything. The dogs must have the desire to train with their owners. The best way to do that is to make the training fun.  If the dog expects to be yelled at or if you’re going to end up frustrated or mad, he will not be willing to participate in the training. Make it a positive atmosphere by being enthusiastic and upbeat. 

Plan your training “Curriculum” for your hyperactive dog

The first commands you teach him should be ones that will make future training. One of the biggest problems with training hyperactive dogs is they get too excited during the training, and they can’t concentrate on what you’re saying. If you experience this, you need to focus on skills that improve impulse control. “Leave it,” “go to your mat,” and “calm,” are all obedience tricks that will definitely come in handy when teaching other skills.

Take advantage of learning opportunities

When they want something, no matter what that is, you need to make them work to get it. If they want to eat, make them sit and “leave it” before allowing them to dig in. If they want your attention, just start scratching when they’ve shown you how well they’ve mastered the “calm” command. Making them earn things daily will keep their bodies and brains working to spend more energy.

How to Calm a Hyperactive Dog

Learn the power of redirection

When your dog is barking, running, and jumping, you as a frustrated pet owner probably try to stifle that energy just to earn a second of calmness. However, punishing the dog isn’t going to help. You should redirect the activity instead of trying to stop it. Hyperactivity is usually connected with an eagerness to please and a keen intellect. So, if you give your hyperactive dog a task at which he can use his never-ending energy, it is a win-win! Your dog will be still excited and active, but he will be doing something productive. 

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Training a hyperactive dog will take commitment and patience. It won’t always be fun and easy, but it’ll be definitely worth it. Don’t let small backsets disappoint you. Don’t give up on your dog.

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Why your dog isn’t listening to your commands?

Although most dogs want to engage with their owners and are willing to please them, don’t forget that the dogs are opportunists. There are times when no matter what you do, something else is more interesting to them.

Your dog would rather take the steak right off your plate than lie on their bed. But, there are no bad dogs – there are dogs that lack training.

If you think your dog is not interested in listening to you, you might want to question yourself what is the reason for that. Usually, your dog isn’t being strong-willed or stubborn – it can be a training or communication issue.

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Weak rewards

You’ve likely met the dog that performs obedience commands and tricks simply because it loves his owner. But most dogs are not going to do something just because they love you. They are likely to do what provides them with the highest reward. If you tell your canine friend to be calm and offer a delicious treat, your dog is going to oblige, just because they’re getting something out of it. But, if you tell your dog to sit and offer nothing, they may just ignore you. 

Shaping behavior with treats, toys, and food is important in the foundations of obedience training. You need to make obeying commands fun for your friend to make them find joy in working with you. 

Lacking consistency

Every trainer, regardless of their experiences and methods, will tell you that consistency is probably the key aspect of training. The more consistent you are, the more useful the training will be. Consistency provides clear rules for the dog to follow with every specific behavior they learn. 

That means it’s easier for them to understand what you want and follow through with it. And we must be extremely clear in our training since this is the only possible communication with our dogs.

Too much training

You can get a little carried away when you are teaching your furry friend something new and exciting. It’s important to remember, especially when it comes to young dogs, that patience is a virtue. You can easily overwhelm your dog with many commands that are too complex. 

Asking too much of your dogs too soon results in burnout for both owner and dog! Take a step back if your dog isn’t listening and ensure you aren’t asking too much. Sometimes the dogs don’t understand a command, so take a moment to revisit older behaviors.

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Many distractions

A park full of other dogs and people is different from the inside of your living room. Your dog is in your home daily, but he doesn’t see many other things daily. What you don’t consider as a big deal, might be a big distraction for the dog. If your dog behaves well at the park unless there is a baseball game going on, then you know that a baseball game is a distraction for your pet and you’ll need to work up to that level of disturbance.

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No consequences

Dogs need consequences just like people do. Sometimes the dog will choose to disobey regardless of the reward, no matter how well-trained they are. Besides withholding the toy or treat, giving a correction is your dog’s consequence. The correction is needed to teach your dog that good behavior comes with rewards, while bad behavior comes with negative consequences. Many trainers believe this makes training clear to dogs and gives an easy way to communicate and teach them.

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