Be a Shining Star

Drop the “obey” and replace it with "COME PLAY."

I think part of the problem with many dogs today is that they don’t get to really play enough.    Having a dog in your life should be more about having a friend and companion and less about obeying and commands (I don’t care for either of those words - they sound so controlling).

When I am with my own dogs I feel a sense of wonder because I get to share my life with such amazing animals.  Don’t get me wrong - I want everyone to have well-behaved canines, and one very important step to that is learning to play fun games with your dog and get them outside.  In addition to exercise (which is a key component to having a well balanced, healthy dog), the mental stimulation that your dog gets from the exercise is crucial.  Just like us, dogs get bored with the same smells, the same backyard, etc.  Change it up for them, bring them joy from your human world just like they bring you joy from the simple act of being a canine.

I believe that walking a dog should be about the dog.  Remember, you're taking them so that they can use one of their most important senses - their noses - and because they probably have been locked in all day waiting for you to return.  Smelling new smells and exploring makes their minds happy.  Next time you take your dog for a walk make the walk all about them.  Try and forget how busy or how tired you are, how long your dog is sniffing the same darn spot and wishing he would just hurry up.

Our dogs are not here for very long and I think sometimes we all tend to forget that.  When it is time to go for that walk and you're tired, just remember, you’re the stars and the moon to your dog.  Let us all try and strive to be just that…   The STARS and the MOON.

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Positively Expert: Amy Sandmann

Amy Sandmann is a VSPDT trainer in Monticello, Minnesota. As a lover of dogs and the outdoors, her mission is to get people re-connected with their pets through positive reinforcement training and exercise. She believes that every owner should focus on unconditional love of their dogs and create a solid human/animal bond.


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