Walk your dog more! If you currently object to walking your dog because he pulls like an ox, be sure to check out a head collar or a front clip no-pull harness. Both management tools give immediate results, creating a more enjoyable walk for you and your canine companion. Be sure you don’t pick up a back clip harness by mistake, as this will cause your dog to pull even more as they’re able to harness all their power against the leash. When it comes to collars that choke, shock or pinch, just say no. These tools often cause arousal and frustration for dogs – not to mention they are painful.

Ditch the Bowl. Turn mealtime into a cognitive enrichment activity by providing a food-dispensing toy to eat from. My favorite is the Kong Wobbler. Dogs have a lot of fun figuring out how to get their food out. Where mealtime usually takes 2 minutes or less, now your dog will have a job to do that could take him upwards of 30 minutes. So many city dogs suffer from under stimulation. Utilizing food puzzles combats daily doggie boredom.

Teach some new tricks. With YouTube just a click away, set aside five minutes each evening to teach your dog something new. There are so many easy tricks you can teach your dog. Spending time training your dog strengthens the human-animal bond, and teaches your dog that listening to you is fun. Dogs that are taught to enjoy training through tricks are more willing to follow obedience commands. To them, it’s all tricks!

 

This article first appeared in the January issue of Brickell and Key Biscayne Magazine

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