The holidays have whisked by us and the New Year is approaching. We often think of and set goals for ourselves in the year to come to improve upon our current quality of life or just to get our rears in gear. However, our canine companions might have some brushing up to do as well. Even the most well-trained dog could use a refresher, or perhaps things have become just a bit old hat and you and your fur-buddy need some new and exciting things to do. Dogs grow and learn daily as we do and definitely could use some added stimulation. We will give you a few things to think about in 2018 to play up your pooch’s lifestyle. 

  1. Try some Tricks: A lot of us focus on our dog’s obedience from puppyhood, but obedience isn’t always a ton of fun. It provides good structure and is great for setting the ground rules, but it can get a little bit boring. Tricks are a fun and engaging activity that challenge both you and your dog! It also tends to give shy dogs a lot of confidence and energetic dogs something to put their mind to. Finding out about new tricks to teach is a breeze with the inter webs now, or you can always sign up for a course at your local dog training facility!
  2. Make the Game Harder: If you and your dog have your basics down, but you’re really looking for some improvement and refinement on what your dog already knows, start advancing his technique. Behavior doesn’t just end when we teach them to sit, lie down, and stay, we have to proof each of those cues. Maybe you’d also like to be able to trust your dog off-leash. Invest in some training programs that allow you to work around active distractions so that you have a calm, confident, trust worthy dog that you can take anywhere. 
  3. Slip into a Sport: Active and ambitious dogs might enjoy a sport. Dog sports include canine agility, dock diving, and flyball. Each one is fast paced and geared toward high energy dogs that just need to burn off some of that excess fuel. Clubs and organizations like AKC and training facilities like us here at Applause Your Paws can offer these services to you. If you have a dog that has a lot of pent up energy and would enjoy learning something new, try out one of these sports!
  4. Explore the Outdoors: Have an amazingly well behaved dog who doesn’t need much additional training, but who could used some new sights and smells. Hiking is always a fun activity to engage in. There are a few sites down in the Miami area that allow dogs out on their trails. Some dog friendly trails are places like Deering’s Chapman Field, Black Point Marina (which leads into Biscayne Nat’l Park), and Dade County Nursery “The Unofficial Dog Park” . Each location has different and exciting things to see! Don’t forget your leash!
  5. Therapy Time: Have extra hours and like to volunteer? Have a sweet dog that loves people? Why not consider therapy work? Therapy dogs have access to areas like hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, and schools to help support, encourage, and offer cheer to various individuals. Having your dog become a therapy animal could add that little extra something to your day. To get started in this endeavor, you can always join one of our upcoming Therapy Dog courses. 

Ring in the New Year right with extra curricular activities, tuning up on training, and simply having a doggone good time! If you have a dog you’d like to start fresh with, you can check out our upcoming courses or contact us for more information. 

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