Steamboat Springs Until now, most of my columns have been inspired by behavior and training issues, but this one is for those of you who regularly read the “Dog’s Eye View” column and already are at the top of my star list.
You are interested in knowing more about dogs and doing right by the dog you have. You are the people who know it takes time and commitment to raise a behaviorally healthy and happy dog.
Kudos to you!
You are the responsible pet owners who continue to walk your dogs on leash in the face of so many loose dogs. Don’t give up. Use your best happy voice along with tons of praise and special goodies for your dog while running the gauntlet of unruly off-leash dogs.
For those of you who take along a bag and clean up after your dogs on the trail and in the parks, you are the precious few. You are ambassadors for dogs allowed in public places. Don’t let the careless, irresponsible dog owners break you down or make you feel like giving up. Because of your diligence, there are fewer communicable, disease-ridden piles in your parks and in your neighborhoods. You are probably the only people who know or care about disease transmission from contaminated pet waste.
Responsible pet owners, you are on my hero list. Let’s continue to set an example for dogs in public places and spread the word that dog waste has no place on the trail, in the parks or on the school grounds where our children play.
For those of you who regularly keep your pet on leash and pick up its waste, be sure to share this column with someone who still needs training.
Training exercises for pet owners
• Make sure your dog is wearing identification.
• Pack treats, and when your dog does something you like, tell him what a good boy he is and give him a treat.
• Pack at least two waste bags and take the time to pick up after your pet.
• Put the leash on your dog and head for the park or trail.
Remember that practice makes perfect. The more you practice this behavior, the stronger it will become. Positive reinforcement works for all of us.
If you have suggestions for future columns, contact me at www.totalteamworktraining.com.
Laura Tyler is a certified professional dog trainer with more than 25 years of experience and has earned associate certification through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She owns Total Teamwork Training LLC here in Northwest Colorado.