Today is one of my least favorite days of the year - the first work day after Daylight Savings Time ends, the beginning of 'Driving Home and Walking the Dogs in the Dark' season. With less light and soon-to-be colder temperatures, our training and exercise routines will have to be adjusted accordingly. Another downside is fewer opportunities for good pictures. Here we are ready to venture out into the night above. I need a head lamp.
On the positive side - The Ginger Sisters probably get more training during the cold months. Shorter walks necessitate creativity and novel, engaging indoor activities. I spend more time on Ruby's trick training while Boca works on puzzle toys and manners. Both girls enjoy rowdy games of tug with me and with each other. This winter I'd like to attempt one of the tricks that has been eluding us, like Ruby putting her toys away. Since Boca doesn't enjoy trick training for the sake of trick training like Ruby does, our goals are more practical. With her propensity to seek out discarded chicken bones and other gross and dangerous items, improvement on "leave it" is at the top of the list for the former street dog.
Dogs need mental stimulation as much or possibly more than straight physical exercise, but they also have different styles of learning and different ideal states for learning. For the best training results with Ruby, I have to catch her in that sweet spot between sleepy and riled up. She is generally too excited to train if she hasn't had her morning or evening walk beforehand, and during her napping hours of 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. training doesn't interest her. Boca is game as long as food as involved.
As someone who loves lists, goals and patterns, I'm very excited to have been offered the chance to try out a new dog activity monitor forthcoming from AMPT Animal. Ruby is pictured above wearing the prototype, which is a nice size even for small dogs. It slips on securely to any standard, flat collar. The monitor tracks your dog's activity, distance traveled, and the app allows for setting different training and exercise goals. I think it would be a great way to ensure that you are meeting your dog's needs throughout the year. The feature I'm most excited about is the remote on-collar "clicker" controlled with your mobile device. I am curious to see if a sensitive dog like Ruby will accept this sound from her collar, and think it's a brilliant idea - we might not always have a clicker on-hand, but most of us carry our phones everywhere we go.
AMPT is offering a deeply discounted monitor to the first 500 pet guardians to sign up:
This post is part of the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop, hosted by Cascadian Nomads,Tenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days. This month's theme is Training and Exercise and the next hop begins on December 7th. The hop happens on the first Monday of every month, and is open for a full week - please join us in spreading the word about the rewards of positive training!
Disclaimer: Rubicon Days has been offered a free AMPT Animal Monitor and no other compensation for this post. We only share products we believe in and AMPT Animal is not responsible for the content of this post.