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Cherish time with your dog: New Year's Resolutions

by Anne-Marie Mayes

For some of us, the new year brings resolutions. This year I encourage dog owners to make a resolution for their relationship with their dog.  It starts with a main idea and can then creating a training plan.   It can be as simple as teaching a new trick, taking a class, or doing something else you enjoy together.  

I asked my staff what their new year’s resolution would be in regards to their relationship with their dog(s) and here are some of the responses:


Sarah: next year we want to work our group walk manners! Boone is fantastic by himself but has improper manners when walking with his friends, we want to work on calm manners and loose leash exercises when with our best paw pals.   

Alysia: To get out more with Seamus and expose him to new environments and dogs while practicing our skills.

Caroline: my new year's training resolution is to go on more outdoor adventures with my dogs.

Kelsey: to go deer antler shed hunting together in the spring time and to focus on strength exercises

Steph: getting some trick and parkour titles with both the boys

Amelia: to enjoy every day with my senior dog Stark and to be patient and have fun with my younger dog Nugget.

As you can see from the resolutions that my staff have mentioned above, that they are personal  to each of them,  not what someone else expects or what you have read on the internet.  I find that if you derive your resolution on your own, you will be be more likely to follow through as it is more meaningful to you.

A few of my staff mentioned that they want to socialize more whether that be with people or other dogs but with different environments.  When it comes to socialization we could all improve with dogs, people or locations.

Kelsey and Steph mentioned more specific activities that they would like to do with their dogs.  I believe that this demonstrates that we as trainers also enjoy learning new activities and strive to broaden our own relationship with our dog as well as our skills as a teacher.

Amelia’s resolution is from the heart, for some people it is more about the relationships we have with our dogs and taking a step back to cherish the time and memories.


My own resolution is a combination of the other instructors, I want to spend more time playing with each of my dogs.  I would like to take a few minutes each day with each dog and play, whether that be with a toy (tugging or fetch), chasing each other, rolling on around on the floor or exploring new objects.  I am going ask  my dog to show me how they would like to play.  Each of my dogs has their own personality and enjoy doing different activities. For example when I pickup a toy Frolic and B get excited and become enthusiastic.  When I get down on all fours Elfie bows and jumps around.  When I run or bounce, Maui follows me with his ears flying in the wind.  With my Chihuahua Tulip, her play has changed over the years and she now enjoys playing fetch with treats or doing tricks.


I hope that sharing these resolutions with you will encourage you to take a step back and appreciate the moments you have with your dog and to create more that you will cherish.

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