Oh No…..Not Change!

worried chihuahua funny

If the turn of the year causes you to consider resolutions that involve change, I trust you’ll take in to account that while the change is often thought out on your part, it can be mildly to extremely stressful for your dog who knows nothing of  what’s about to occur.  Whether it be relocation to a new town, a move to a new home,  a significant change in a work schedule or other like changes, there are a few things you can do to help your furry friend adapt more easily to the change:

Physical Exercise:  Keep up your dog’s physical exercise routine.  In fact, increase it.  Most dogs really never get enough physical exercise.  Exercise increases all those good brain chemicals that help relieve stress.  Besides, it’s good for you too!

Mental Stimulation:  Give your dog added opportunities for brain work.  There are hundreds of interactive feeding toys and puzzle toys to choose from these days.  Play the Find It Game which is easy for you and wildly fun for your dog.

Daily Training:  Plan two or three 5 to 10 minute training sessions each day.  Get out some yummy, pea-sized treats and reinforce your dog for sits or downs or any other behavior you enjoy them doing.  Having to think in response to your requests works your dog’s brain and their body.

Consider using Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAP):    DAP is a synthetically produced pheromone that mimics the natural pheromones a mother dog emits when she’s nursing and has a calming effect on the pups. Research shows that 75 to 85% of dogs respond with lowered stress with the use of DAP.

Whatever you do, don’t disregard your dog’s signals that they may be uncomfortable.  They, too, experience emotions and by eliminating stress, they’ll be a happy dog which will make you a happy human.

Here at Cold Nose College we’re embracing change too.  We’re moving into an exciting new phase of growth and transition.  We’ve closed our training center, but we’re not going away.  Instead, we’re focusing on mobile training.  For years you’ve been coming to us, often traveling 40 miles or more for classes and further for workshops.  Now it’s our turn to spend time behind the wheel.  We’re offering customized, private training in the comfort of your own home or neighborhood.  We’re also taking our workshops on the road and kick off 2015 with a Rocket Recall Workshop in Florida in March.  And we’ll soon have training businesses in two southeast cities (stay tuned for that!).

So here’s a toast to your and your furry friends for a year that’s better than you can wildly imagine.  Happy Training!

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Lisa Lyle Waggoner is a CPDT-KA, CSAT (Certificate in Separation Anxiety Training), a Pat Miller Certified Trainer-Level 2, a dog*tec Professional Dog Walking Academy Instructor, and the founder of Cold Nose College in Murphy, North Carolina.  She enjoys providing behavior consulting and training solutions to clients in the tri-state area of North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, as well as offering educational opportunities for dog trainers and dog hobbyists throughout the U.S.   www.coldnosecollege.com

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