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New Year’s Resolutions for Your Dog

Happy New Year, everyone. It’s my first post of 2017, and I’m sharing some of the goals I have for Baxter and myself for the year ahead.

1. Take a dog training class.

Ongoing training is valuable for our dogs, ourselves and our bond. Classes are a way to try something new and have fun. It’s been awhile since Baxter and I did formal classes together. I don’t know exactly what we’ll try, but I’m looking forward to finding something new for us to experience together.

2. Better dental care.

The best trick we have for taking care of Baxter’s teeth is giving him a soup bone every so often. Chewing the bone chips the tartar off his teeth and keeps them nice and white. However, there are a few teeth where this doesn’t work quite as well, and I’ve noticed some of his gums seem a bit discoloured.

Teeth health is important to overall health. This year, I’m aiming to do a better job of regular tooth brushing, along with the bones.

3. Go back to basics.

Off leash hiking is one of Baxter’s and my favourite activities. However, as I’ve written before, dude has a very big comfort zone and sometimes ventures farther away from me than I like. On our final hikes of last year, he would occasionally choose his own adventure for up to 15 minutes at a time.

New Year's resolutions for your dog

Even though I’m proud of how he would eventually come back to me, it always made me anxious when he disappeared. And for the other people we’re hiking with, standing around waiting for him to catch up or even walking back along the trail with me to find him isn’t the most fun.

We’re going to start this year by focusing on basic obedience. Spending time on recall, leash dragging, rules, boundaries and limitations will help to strengthen our bond so that when we return to off leash activities, they’re enjoyable for both of us.

I enjoy setting goals at the start of each year. They help me to prioritize what’s most important and provide a focus the rest of the year.

And what’s most important is lots of time with my dog, experiencing as much as possible and doing fun things together.

Do you have any goals or New Year’s resolutions for your dog?

What would you like to focus on with your dog over the next year?

Any suggestions of interesting classes I should investigate?

New Year's resolutions for your dog


Julia at Home on 129 Acres

Monday 9th of January 2017

I love your plans with Ace. Just spending time together is so nice.

Baxter's 15-minute disappearing act is not what we strive for in our group with off-leash training. It's a factor of his sniffy nose and big comfort zone... and eventually remembering that he likes me and wants to be with me. It definitely makes me nervous, hence working on the basics and trying to shrink his comfort zone.

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 9th of January 2017

These sound like great goals.

With my senior dog Ace, I'm planning on taking him somewhere fun for an hour every Tuesday morning. Like his favorite park or a trail. Doesn't sound like much and of course he still gets other walks throughout the week but this is time planned in my schedule just for him.

With my younger dog Remy, we just started a beginning obedience class on Saturday which seems like a good fit for him.

Also, would love to hear more about your recall/off-leash training. It would make me so nervous if my dogs disappeared on the trail for 15 minutes. I've had Remy run way ahead and be out of sight for about 2 or 3 minutes and while I knew he'd eventually come back it made me so nervous! So I know I need to work on his recall as well. Buying a 25-foot leash soon.