Pet Obedience - Why is it important?
There is enough to think about when traveling with a pet. Packing supplies, making reservations, getting the car ready, making airline reservations, getting to the vet for a check up. In the middle of all of this, pet obedience is essential. Having an out-of-control pet bubbling over with excitement at the opportunity to travel with the family is not what you need.
Have these been your dog rules?
- The dog is not allowed inside.
- Okay, the dog is allowed in the house, but only in certain rooms.
- Oh, all right, the dog is allowed in all the rooms but has to stay off the furniture.
- Well, the dog can only get on the old furniture
- Fine. The dog is allowed on all the furniture, but is not allowed to sleep with the humans on the bed.
- Okay, the dog is allowed on the bed, but only by invitation.
- The dog can sleep on the bed whenever he wants, but NOT under the covers.
- The dog can sleep under the covers by invitation only.
- Oh, pooh! The dog can sleep under the covers every night.
If this seems like the situation around your home, then you are like a lot of us pet owners who from the time we bring the puppy home plan to teach them pet obedience. You were successful in housebreaking your pet, congratulations. But how are you doing on the issues of: Sit - Heal - Fetch - Down?
So, how do you start?
Obedience classes are available in almost every city and take a number of different forms. Some meet once a week generally on a Saturday for a few hours, after a few weeks, you will have a more obedient pet and a certificate to prove it.
You tell Rover to sit up and he rolls over. You say "down" and she jumps in your lap. Perhaps it is time to take your pet to an obedience course. Some are held for several Saturdays in a row while others are intensive 3-day affairs. Beware, as there is no licensing for pet trainers so you need to check out the one you select.
There are even obedience camps which offer pet training which take an entire weekend or longer. Some have accommodations so it is a little like when you went to camp as a child only in this case your pet is the one going to camp.
Many provide more than obedience classes such as sports training for your dog.
A personal trainer for your pet; well, you have one, why not your pet? There are individuals in every major city who are "pet personal trainers".
The American Kennel Club has categories for pet training, kind of like a bachelors degree, a masters degree or a doctorate degree. The National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors can help find you an obedience instructor in your area as well.
Still having trouble finding an obedience school in your area? Check these two sources, your local Humane Society and your local pet shop.
If you ever wanted to take a vacation and do nothing but spend time with your dog, a dog camp is the place for you! Dog camps allow you to spend time with dozens of other canine lovers, and try a variety of canine sports and activities. Some camps focus specifically on sports like agility and obedience and are designed for the more serious competitor, while others are geared to all types of dog owners and offer dozens of activities for you and your dog. Many dog camps have overnight accommodations. Find examples of dog camps here, here and here.
Here are some things you and your pet can do together after being obedience trained.
If your dog has a cheery personality and loves people and children, consider enrolling them in therapy training. Therapy dogs visit hospitals and nursing home to cheer up sick patients. The benefit to the patient is well documented and it will make you feel good as well. Check with a hospital or nursing home for their dog therapy program. Therapy dogs also visit children's long-term care facility to "play" with residents. A great combination of wagging tails and happy smiles. Find more information on therapy dogs by clicking here.
A Dog Paddling Adventure
Sort of the ultimate owner and pet adventure. Experiencing a guided canoe trip on a lake or rivers is an unforgettable event. Sunsets, swimming and laughing are just a few of the everyday goings-on during a weekend (or longer!) canoe trip. Now add to this list watching your puppy dog learn to swim for the first time, exploring your island campsite off leash to his or her heart's content, and running and playing with new canine and human friends before finally curling up beside you in front of a blazing campfire. This is what a dog paddling adventure is all about?
A boat trip
If you think your pet loves to put his head out of the window of your car can you imagine how happy they will be in the bow of a small boat skimming over a lake or river? Tie that in with a swim on a pet friendly beach and picnic and you have one happy pet. Before you go check out the Pet Travel Store for a portable water bowl.
Get out there and enjoy life with your best furry friend and come back to Pet Travel for lots of pet friendly places and activities.
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