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Harnessing Your Dog's 'Back to School' Energy

It's that time of year again—the backpacks are packed, lunch boxes are filled, and the school

bus is around the corner. While your kids might be bustling with excitement (or maybe some

first-day jitters), your dog is also picking up on the change in household dynamics. With the kids

back in school, there's a noticeable shift in energy that you can actually harness for productive

dog training. Here's how.


Utilizing the 'Empty Nest'


Let's face it, an empty house can sometimes feel a bit too quiet. This is a perfect time to tap into

your dog's focused attention. Without the usual distractions—like kids running around or noisy

playdates—your home becomes an ideal training ground.

Consider exercises that focus on your dog's ability to follow commands like 'Here' when you call

them. With fewer people in the house, you can work on these skills in a controlled environment

before testing them in more public spaces.


Adjusting to New Schedules


New school year often means new routines, not just for your children but also for your dog. Take

this as an opportunity to align your dog's schedule with the school calendar. If you're doing

drop-offs in the morning, establish a brief training session right after you return home. If there

are after-school activities, consider a quick obedience refresher before dinner. The point is to

integrate training into these open pockets of time, making it part of your dog's new normal.

Back-to-school season brings about changes in every household member's life, including your

dog. Instead of letting this time pass without making the most of it, use it as a golden opportunity

to focus on training. With the kids in school, you’ll find yourself with periods of uninterrupted time

that are ideal for teaching new skills or reinforcing old ones.

By capitalizing on the 'Back to School' energy, you're not just filling time—you're investing in a

well-behaved, balanced, and happier dog. So let this be the year you make training a priority.

Your future self (and your dog) will thank you.


A Proactive Guide to a Stress-Free Holidays with Your Dog


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it's the season of gatherings and good vibes. But for

dog owners dealing with behavioral issues like anxiety, aggression, or fear, the holiday can be

stressful. Our goal at Grassroots K9 Georgina is to make this Thanksgiving enjoyable for you

and your dog. In this blog, we'll share some tips on how to manage the holiday stress and make

the weekend a win-win for everyone involved.


Teaching Impulse Control at the Dinner Table


Why it matters:

A turkey leg or a slice of pie falling off the table can make any dog abandon their manners.

However, for dogs already grappling with behavioral issues, impulse control can be a serious

challenge.


How to Teach Impulse Control:


● Basic Commands: Reinforce basic commands like "Sit" and "Down" during meals to

establish boundaries.

● Place/Mark Command: Utilize the "Place" or "Mark" command to designate a specific

area for your dog around the dinner table. This serves as an invisible crate, helping your

dog understand where to stay during mealtimes.

● Leave it/Drop it: Teach your dog these commands to prevent them from grabbing food

that's not meant for them.

** Always remember to reward your dog for showing restraint, making the impulse control

exercise a positive experience.**


Boundaries, Not Just For Your Dog


The Problem with People:


We often talk about teaching boundaries to our dogs, but it’s also crucial to teach our guests

how to respect our dog's space.

How to Educate Guests:

● Pre-visit Communication: A simple text or email outlining the rules.

● Visual Cues: Use signs or labels as reminders to avoid touch, talk, or eye contact.

● A Designated Space: Reserve a specific area where your dog can retreat if

overwhelmed.


The Art of Crating

The Benefits:


A crate is not a punishment but a sanctuary. It can provide a safe space when the environment

gets too hectic.


How to Use the Crate:

● Make it Inviting: Fill it with your dog's favorite toys and blankets.

● Scheduled Time: Set up periods for your dog to be in the crate.

● Crate Games: Introduce crate games that help your dog associate the crate with

positive experiences.


Preemptive Mental Stimulation


Why it's Important:

Mental stimulation helps to tire out your dog, making them less reactive to stressors.


Fun Activities:

● Scent Games: Hide treats and let your dog find them.

● Obedience Drills: Go through your dog’s usual commands but in a more challenging

setup.

● Outdoor Activities: A brisk walk or a game of fetch can work wonders.


The Holidays don't have to be stressful for you or your dog(s) dealing with behavioral issues. By

practicing impulse control, setting boundaries, utilizing the crate wisely, and engaging in

preemptive mental stimulation, you can set the stage for a holiday that everyone can enjoy.

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