Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bonding, Playing, and Keeping Training Interesting

As I continue to prepare for Shilo's emminent arrival. I have been going though my books for ideas on how to bond with her. Dogs bond with the people who provide for their basic needs such as:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Limits
  • Safety
  • Play
  • Education
  • Health
  • Grooming

As part of my team training for my new service dog Shilo I will learn all about how to take care of her basic needs; however, it will be up to her and I to define what we enjoy in our downtime. These downtime activities in my experiences often truly cement the bond. These can be simple things like walks, bedtime routines, quiet time together, and grooming. Bonding can occur during games like tug, fetch, hide and seek, and othe activities. Shilo is a rescue and like many strays she seems to have had little experience with toys, yet she loves walks, training and playing with other dogs. I plan to capitalize on her loves by enrolling us in team activities like Rally O (Rally Obedience), taking her to explore the neighborhood in my powerchair, teaching her new games from book I have Beyond Fetch, and building her a group of doggy friends made up of other area service dog teams. No one's life can be all work and no play and that includes service dogs. Many people with disabilities partnered with service dogs struggle to find leisure activites to participate in with their dogs that they are physically able to do. By being able work and play together a service dog and their human partners truly become a team. For more ideas on activies to do with a dog visit DogPlay.com.

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