Dog’s Eye View: When life gets in the way |

Dog’s Eye View: When life gets in the way

Laura Tyler
For the Steamboat Pilot & Today

It started out as such a good idea. I carefully considered the commitment and responsibility of a new dog. I prepared, and everyone was on board with the plan.

I had room in my life to add another dog to our family. My plan was to keep up with training, set goals, provide support and improve my own ability to mix work with the pleasure of companionship. I was ready to dive back into the dog training and competition circuit.

And then life got in the way.

Family members became dependent on me to provide home care, so my growing and thriving business went from full time to part time. Doing double duty means my plans went on the back burner.

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I’m glad I had that first year with my new dog to get foundation training started and build an excellent relationship. We find little ways to continue growing our goals for her education. Sometimes, it seems like I barely have time to say “hi” to my dogs, much less follow through with teaching and training.

We all go through times in our lives with unexpected changes. It’s essential to adapt and remain flexible. Instead of feeling guilty, try mixing up your day with two-minute training sessions. And notice how your dog’s energy level mirrors yours. If you come home frantic and stressed, your dog will reflect your energy.

Try to calm down together by maintaining that loving and comforting snuggle time. Staying up an extra 30 minutes at night with my dog next to me on the couch is a perfect ending to any busy day. I love having my dog fall asleep with her head in my lap. It gives me a sense of peace.

In the morning, my first cup of coffee with my dog next to me starts my day with a sense of calm. A few minutes of gentle, slow petting can bring you closer and fulfill your needs, too.

Laura Tyler is a certified professional dog trainer with more than 30 years of experience and has earned associate certification through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants as well as Certified Nose Work Instructor through the National Association of Canine Scent Work. She owns Total Teamwork Training in Northwest Colorado.

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