Welcome back to the Trainer’s Ring.

Sweet summertime. It could not get here quickly enough! Thank you for joining our summer edition. With the warmer months on our mind, our animals are also going to be a part of the endless fun activities planned with our friends and family. They are our family!

Out of our Hands

With increased activities come the potential for more chances for our canine buddies to get out and explore with us. But what is your plan should your puppy or dog accidently slip off leash to chase a rabbit or squirrel? Or, (goodness forbids) your puppy, or a client’s dog got away from a dog walker or pet sitter? Our worst nightmare could quickly unfold.

Prevention paired with positive training and planning is the first proactive route to go. Is the dog’s equipment checked, assessed, and secure before every walk and outing? Is the handler holding the leash in the manner that can help prevent a puppy from running away?

Taking the time to train a reliable recall takes just that. Time. Here us a helpful video tutorial by trainer, Lisa Mullinax called The Bacon Recall (www.youtube.com/watch?v=1T1a3_1ouqY) to help jumpstart this engaging process.

Clear communication always provides excellent benefits. Is the puppy or dog a door dasher? Are they currently involved in a treatment plan for a behavioral concern such as anxiety or fearful behaviors? All it could take is one split second, and the sudden noise of a loud bus, or a distracted handler not focused on the animal, and they are literally out of our hands.

Here is one helpful resource to review and share with your clients. Let’s hope our dogs never get away from us and become lost. But, if they do, here are some excellent tips by trainer, Nicole Wilde (www.nicolewilde.com), Twenty Tips for Finding a Lost Dog (wildewmn.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/twenty-tips-for-finding-a-lost-dog/)

Take the Madness out of Medicating

We know the saying about how a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. But, as we think about the very reason of WHY a cat, dog, bird, horse, or any species of animal (including us) might refuse medication, it lends itself to an empathetic perspective. Our taste buds are designed to refuse any odd texture, flavor, and taste. If we swallow an aversive-tasting item, our bodies are designed to prevent food poisoning. “Abort and spit it out! Now!” This is why so many medications and supplements have favorable flavors added to enhance the medication.

Couple that insight with the owner feeling stressed about having to medicate their pet. They are now worried about having a sick animal, and feel added pressure to ensure that the dosage is given as prescribed. So, let’s help both the human and animal both learn together to stress less and have fun.

This lovely video by Colleen Koch, DVM, provides simple tips: Training your pet to take medication (www.youtube.com/watch?v=spjJNcycRMQ)

Dr. Patricia McConnell also wrote an excellent blog about this very topic: Giving a dog a pill (www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/making-the-medicine-go-down-giving-a-dog-a-pill)

And, finally, in our WGN Midday news appearance in 2012, Kelly Ballantyne, DVM, and myself shared some quick tips with the use of gelatin capsules (www.youtube.com/watch?v=gROqHyIJkPO&feature=youtu.be)
Happy Training!

Laura Monaco Torelli

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