Nervous, insecure, and anxious dogs are on the rise? What gives?
Since the lockdowns of the pandemic, our way of living with our dogs has changed so much so quickly, and with a change of lifestyle comes a huge change in behavior.
Not only was their a change in lifestyle, but let’s face it, life really sucked for a brief period of time for most of us with a ridiculous amount of stress and pressure, whether it be from our change in life, or just the all around suckiness of the situation. With that being said, it is very common for humans to use their dog’s for an emotional crutch, but most pets aren’t able to cope with all of our stress, on top of all of their stress too.
What changed, and what needs to change in order to get out of this mess?
First off understand you own a dog, and they aren’t made of glass. They are capable of so much more than we give them credit for, and we hold our dog’s back from reaching their true potential. Instead of telling your dog it’s okay, show your dog what they are capable of. Often times insecurity is a result of the brain telling the body that they can’t achieve a certain goal, and if you lead your dog through these insecure moments you will open a whole new set of courage for your dog. However, if we coddle and remove our dogs from all stressful events, how will that ever give them the opportunity to grow.
From going to work 48 hours a week, to staying at home almost the entire day, we immediately changed the dynamic of human/dog ownership. Here is the thing, as much as we like spending this extra time with your dog, you become a resource that your dog becomes addicted too. Addiction can mean one of two things, separation anxiety or resource guarding (making your dog mor protective of you). Good news, it gave us a lot of practice perfecting our training routine for these issues, but bad news for the average dog owner. We need to create healthy distance and boundaries with our dogs, no matter their age!
Lastly, we need to focus on jobs. Most dogs that come to a training program are some sort of working breed, but they are all UNEMPLOYED working dogs haha. They don’t have a job, and aren’t fulfilled mentally or physically. Because of this, more problematic behaviors arise. This is something that we put a huge focus on at Say It Once Dog Training.
Audit your own behaviors in the house, and take very close look at your dog’s behaviors as well. Whether you’ve never had us for a session, or you used us in the past, sign up today if you feel like you need help! There is no shame in hiring professional help, there is only better behaved dogs because we are not here to judge you, we are here to help you.
For our amazing following over the world, if you need help, sign up for a virtual lesson today!
What is the Dog Derby you ask? Let me Tell you!
The Dog Derby is an all day family-friendly event like no other in Pittsburgh! The Dog Derby itself is a 5k that you can walk or run with your best friends (the dogs) and your family! There will be exciting obstacles along the way for you to complete with your dog, and provide a fun challenge for your four legged best friend! We've all seen the tough mudder, this is the canine version of that! (But not as strenuous or stressful, and a heck of a lot more fun, we can call it the Pup Mudder!) Down below we have a video describing the event, as well as a FAQ Sheet to answer any and all Questions that you may have!
Is the Derby just an amazing 5k event, or is there more?
Great Question, and there is so much more! We have awesome pittsburgh vendors at the Dog Derby for you to enjoy. Food Trucks, Beer Trucks, Ice Cream, Donuts, as well as pittsburgh businesses offering up great deals under their pop up tents. It's the atmosphere you want to be in if you are a dog owner, dog lover, or fun seeker!
Q: Do I have to run at the Dog Derby?
A: Absolutely not! For the brave souls that would like to run with their dog throughout the obstacles, more power to you. However, I will be briskly walking my pack and I’ll have just as much fun as the runners!
Q: Will there be dogs off-leash at this event?
A: No. All dogs must be on leash.
Q: How many people can come if we buy a one dog ticket?
A: As many people can join in on the fun as you’d like with 1 ticket. We are selling tickets per dog, not per human, so we hope to see your whole family there!
Q: Can I bring my dog, or my family without participating in the event?
A: Of course, we would love you to come. The Derby itself is going to be one of the coolest things you’ll ever do with your dog, but if you’re not ready for it, you will still have a great time with your dog checking out local vendors, watching dogs and people complete, and enjoying the atmosphere!
Q: Do I have to be a client of Say It Once Dog Training to come to this event?
A: Nope, we are open for everyone. Every single dog owner can come to this event, as long as they come on leash of course!
Q: Am I going to be extremely close to other dogs throughout the whole event?
A: This is a great concern for many owners of mildly reactive dogs, nervous dogs, and for those who aren’t comfortable in close spaces with many dogs. That is the beauty of this location, there is so much space that you and your dog can take all the time in the world, and space that you need in order to complete the Derby and still feel comfortable and in control.
Q: How many dogs are going per each heat?
A: We will have small heats of only 20-29 dogs. This ensures that every dog will have enough space to safely complete this course.
Q: Where are all the proceeds from this event going?
A: Every single profit dollar will go to our new Say It Once Rescue League. The SIORL is a non profit that provides training to troubled and let down rescue dogs throughout the Pittsburgh Area, and beyond. Vinnie has also pledged to match up to $10,000 of all donations made prior to the Derby as well.
You're training your dog, which means you're either trying to teach good habits, or unteach all the bad habits your dog has learned. When we get wrapped up into the daily lives with our dogs, it can be common to not acknowledge any achievements you have made for yourself and for your dog. The reason being is we set the goalpost at the hundred yard line and we started at the other end of the field on the goal line.
Dogs and humans alike love achieving tasks, and reaching goals. When you achieve a task, there is nothing better than checking that box off your list, or adding that new achievement to your repertoire. I want you to set a realistic one week goal for you and your dog, and write it down below. If you don’t write it, you won’t do it because there is no one to hold you accountable. In a week, let’s check back in with ourselves and see how we did.
My goal with my pack is a simple one, and will only take a few hours to complete. The problem that I have, like most, is making sure that I set the designated time aside to achieve my goals, and I will because I have you all to keep me accountable. My goal this week is to get my dog’s around my horses and work on three separate commands with them. First place, and have my dogs hold place while I mess around with the horses and goats. Second heel, and test my dogs ability to heel while I walk the horse, something we have never done before. Lastly, their free command while the horses are out. Remember, even though we put our dog’s in “free”, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any rules. I need to make sure my dogs maintain a calm state of mind around the horse, and be respectful of space.
Let’s hear yours below ⬇️