Have a safe and spooky Halloween!
Read the SPCA'S tips for keeping your dog safe tonight!

In this issue, we focus on canine teenagers! Adolescence is a time of "big feelings" for your pup. Your dog's brain is still developing and while they may look grown-up, teenagers dont' yet have the mental capacity or the emotioanl development of an adult dog.

We are starting Teen Tyrant group classes next week and there is still room to join in. We focus on core skills including a rock solid recall, walking on a loose leash, participating in their own care, preventing and managing problem behaviours, and more!

The classes include face-to-face sessions with complementary and extensive online material. The small classes are conducted safely outdoors under cover and with COVID-19 protocols in place. See below for more information and to register.

One of the keys to living with a teenager of any species is to make yourself fun to be with! Read our "Too Cool for School" article below and learn some tips on taking the canine adolescent in your life on a "cool" outing!
Teen Tyrant group classes starting soon!
For dogs 4 to 18 months
Teenagers are wonderful but they can be trying! Join our class and help your rambunctious or shy teen thrive.

We have a new outdoor location with cover close to town.

Classes start Thursday, November 5 and Saturday, November 7.

Find out more and register here.
Too cool for school!
Connecting with your canine teenager!
For teens of any species, parents can be so uncool. Adolescence can be a trying time for any species. That sweet little puppy is growing up and becoming annoying, not to say obnoxious, LOL. He starts to pull on leash. She jumps up on people. Maybe she always did, but now she’s 80 pounds and it isn’t so adorable anymore. Perhaps he’s lunging towards things he wants such as other dogs. And, worst of all, she goes from worshipping you to snubbing you. Ouch!
Part of the reason this happens is because our pups start to discover the world and our star doesn't shine as bright anymore. So what can we do? We can show our little tyrants that, actually, we ARE cool and fun to be with! We can share their excitement in the world they are discovering and become their teacher, teaching them about things they don't know yet. We can become cool to be with! 

Go on an outing with your teen. Avoid any known triggers that cause fearful or reactive responses on this outing. Go somewhere you will enjoy and try these ideas:
  • Give your teen freedom: As much as possible, allow your teen tyrant freedom. If you trust him off leash, let him fly! If that's not possible for you yet, and you can't get access to a fenced area, use a long line and harness. Attach the long line to the back clip of the harness and utilize the leash gently to make your teen feel as much as possible that he is off leash. 
  • Pay for check-ins: One thing you want to do routinely is reinforce your dog’s acknowledgement of you. Check-ins are something we work on in class A LOT! Start that process now. It is really important you pay for check-ins on outings because that is a behaviour your should cherish. Do you want a dog who pays attention to you when the exciting world is beckoning to him? If so, pay for check-ins! Use VERY good food. Kibble or regular treats won't do it here. Think roast chicken, smoked salmon, sausage. The stinkier and the more novel the food, the better. Make it special. And each time your dog - without your asking for it - looks at you or comes back to you on this outing, give him a tiny piece of the wonderful food. Remember, checking in should be his idea, not yours.  
  • Find stuff he didn’t know was there: This step can take some planning. Maybe you wander over to a tree or a rock pile, and secretly scatter food - good food, but not check-in good. Save that great stuff for check-ins only! Then get your dog’s attention and point this amazing treasure out to him. He will start to be amazed at the things you find! If you have a random goodie (perhaps a rind of cheese, or a salmon skin, or any other sort of special treat) that you can hide and point out to him, you will be SO cool! 
  • Know stuff he doesn’t know and teach him: Show your teenager things about the world that he may not know about yet. For instance, he may not know that treats float in a stream and that he can get them! She may not know that birds are up in trees sometimes, and you can point that out to her. Admire the birds together! He also may not know how fun it is to snuffle around in a pile of dead leaves (bury a toy in there, or just rustle around and show him what you are doing). You can show him that logs are great for hopping onto, that berries are great for eating straight off the bush, and that rocks are great for climbing.

If you are a fun person to go on a walk with, your dog will spend more time with you on those walks. So go on a cool outing with your teen tyrant! Show your adolescent just how much fun you can be!
Did you see my latest article in the Peak? It's about our responsibility not to purchase or adopt puppies from sources that put profit ahead of the wellbeing of dogs and people.

Find me on Facebook

Volume 4, October 2020