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Everybody knows a dog that barks incessantly, climbs all over the furniture, can’t be trusted with food on the table, or excitedly jumps on visitors. It might even be yours.
One thing is certain: These habits can make them not much fun to be around. For most unwanted behaviours, there’s a simple answer: Training.
Some issues require the help of professionals and consultations with veterinarians, but with the pandemic forcing many of us to stay home, we don’t have access to hands-on obedience classes for Fido. The good news is you can do some simple training exercises at home right now.
The Internet is full of advice – some of it questionable. Be sure of the resources you’re using. The Canadian Kennel Club, which is the primary registry for purebred dogs in Canada, has approximately 20,000 members and more than 700 breed clubs across the country, has lots of training information, including positive reinforcement.
What is positive reinforcement?
This is a method used to teach, capture and reward Fido’s desired behaviour. Put simply, it allows dogs to use their brains. Dog training isn’t solely about good dog behaviour. It’s essential to a long and healthy relationship with your furry friend.
According to Tanya Martin, President of the Newfoundland (All Breed) Kennel Club, here are some suggestions that will benefit you and your dog as you train:
The Canadian Kennel Club also offers these other tips for dog owners:
Bonus treat recipe
During the pandemic, many of us are spending more time in the kitchen. Why not bake some fudge for your dog? This recipe makes a lot but freezes well and can be cut up into small pieces for training.
Training Tuna Fudge
• 2 cans of tuna (do not drain) or 15 oz. can of salmon (and juices) or canned chicken
• 2 eggs (optional, or use just one)
• 1 ½ cups flour (regular, whole wheat or rice flour)
• ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Mix ingredients together and put in a greased 9×9 pan. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. When finished baking, turn off the oven and let it sit inside for a few minutes.
Training and stimulating your dog could help prevent a serious accident. Pet insurance also helps provide pet owners with financial protection against expensive medical costs. By helping you deal with the cost of care, insurance coverage puts you in a better position to make decisions about your furry friend’s medical needs without worrying about cost first.
One such insurer is Pets Plus Us. Their Blue Ribbon Benefits offer 24/7 complimentary access to a Pet Poison Hotline and PetHelpFone, which can provide veterinary advice outside normal business hours.