Tag Archives: best dog life

Vandalism caused by the virus

The Covid 19 virus is responsible for all kinds of changes in our lives. 

Among the most notable for us this week – because the neighborhood around our shop is a ghost town, thieves helped themselves to Hope’s car’s catalytic converter. In the village parking lot, in broad daylight, with a power tool. And nobody saw. Nobody heard. The first clue was when Hope closed the shop on Tuesday evening, got in her car, and heard the roar of a vehicle without a working emissions system.

Picture of a vandalized car, caused by the virus
There used to be a catalytic converter on the end of that cut pipe.

We know it’s just a thing. It’s already in the shop for repairs. We’re using it as an example of how much life has changed for all of us in the last week. These are frightening times, for us, too. Nobody seems to be shopping, either in person or online, except for “quarantine” supplies. We actually started a Google spreadsheet, open to everyone, to list their small businesses. We’re hoping that those still fortunate enough to have a steady paycheck will support us, and other tiny companies, that are struggling right now.  

We’re trying to stay upbeat and cheerful, and, honestly, if it weren’t for our dogs, I’m not sure we’d be successful. 

Dogs are our sanity

Aside from staying in evenings, instead of going to training classes, our normal routine is pretty much the same. But we know many people’s lives have been even more drastically disrupted and your dogs may be acting unsettled and jumpy.

We’ve shared studies verifying that dogs are emotional creatures – just like us. Not only that, they’re also highly attuned to the emotions of the people they love. If you’re worried about the virus, chances are your dog is picking up on your tension and may be acting out simply because he doesn’t know what else to do.

If you’re now working from home, or staying close to home as a precaution, your dog’s going to be delighted. At first. After a couple of days, the dogs will figure out it’s not the weekend, and their schedules have undergone a major change. 

Since dogs love routine, switching gears isn’t the easiest thing for them. They may find it impossible to settle, or find a comfortable place for themselves. If you have more than one dog, best buddies may start getting on each other’s nerves. The best thing to do is establish a new routine for the dogs, including some activities that will exercise their brains as well as their bodies. 

And we understand that in some areas, the option of going for a nice, long walk is restricted. And not everyone has access to a fenced yard for fetch. So what can you do?

Schedule “together” time

We’ve mentioned how, before we go to work, we have little game sessions with our dogs every day. It doesn’t take long, about five minutes each, but they love it (so do we!). It has other benefits as well – we start every day with a smile. Playing with our dogs does that.  

It also gives them a structure for their day. They know they’re going to play hard for a little bit – each one individually. They each get “mom’s” undivided attention. And they know when their turn is over, they get their favorite treats and they’re done. It’s time to go take a nap. That routine is well-established and welcome.

If you’re not sure what to do for your play sessions, we’re inviting you to check out our training method – the 2-Minute-Trainer. Membership, with full access to the beginning guide, all videos, photos, and tips, is free for the first two weeks. 

The benefits are countless for both of you. You grow your relationship, communication, and bond with your dog. And your dog, just by playing games with you, becomes an even better companion, with excellent manners and a vocabulary of words and behaviors that will delight both of you. 

What’s your dog’s story?

It’s not a big secret that we’re addicted to dogs. Or that we think dog people are the best on the planet. We love talking to people and hearing their dog’s stories.

Every dog has one. Whether you bought your dog from a breeder, adopted her from a shelter, found her on the street – every story is unique. But every dog’s story has a common denominator. That dog changes his family’s life forever.

One of the best dog trainers we know did a thought-provoking video this week. Margaret trains dogs at every level – from household obedience to the highest level of dog sport competition. This week she cautioned against letting our dogs’ stories define them – as if their history predetermined their future. We were captivated!

Let the dog’s story change

Just because your dog’s story started with some kind of issue, whether it’s fear of storms, or trucks, or loud sounds, or getting his nails trimmed, doesn’t mean she’s destined to have that issue forever. Dogs do love routine. But they can adapt, especially if changes come at the dog’s pace and comfort level.

Over the years we’ve met lots of people who think their newly-adopted dog is just the most amazing, good, well-behaved creature ever to walk the planet. 

We talk to them a couple of months later and the world has turned upside-down. The dog is mischievous, naughty, and can’t stay still for more than a few seconds at a time. It turns out that about six weeks after a dog or puppy arrives in its new home, the dog realizes it’s there to stay and starts showing his/her true personality. 

As a “guest” – the dog is on its best behavior. As a member of the family, he sits on the couch in his underwear, burping, smacking, and eating all the snacks in the house.

Past and future

We can never really know what shaped our dogs’ personalities, why they react to certain situations the way they do. Perhaps the dog was frightened by an opening umbrella when it was a tiny puppy. Maybe while riding in a car, heard a vehicle backfire, and retains the fear. We’ll never know – and they can’t tell us. 

We can recognize the issues and come up with a plan to help our dogs overcome them.

A friend’s Havanese puppy fears getting her nails trimmed. Our friend doesn’t want to use a guillotine-type nail clipper because she’s afraid of hurting her dog. We get it – we’re chickens about the clippers, too. 

Our friend got a Dremel and wants to use the sanding drum to grind down her dog’s nails – just like we do. It works quickly, leaves the nails pretty smooth, and, when the dog cooperates, takes only moments. But her puppy fears the sound. It’s understandable, they’re not quiet machines. So we shared our trick – the grinder has an attachment that lets you hold the working bit like a pen, a couple of feet away from the loud motor. It’s a simple thing, but it may save a lot of aggravation for our friend, and avoid frightening her dog. 

Get help

If your dog has issues from his/her past – don’t let them define your dog’s future. You’ll both have a better, bigger life if you can help your dog put the past in the past. 

You know dog people – both in person and on social media. Ask if anyone faces the same issue. If our friend hadn’t happened to mention to Hope about her puppy’s nail phobia, she never would have learned about the amazing Flex Shaft attachment. Now Lulu’s learning, one nail at a time, that trimming isn’t terrifying.

Changing your dog’s story

You can change your dog’s story – a lot, or a little. If you want to live the biggest life possible with your dog, we invite you to join the 2-Minute Trainer community. You’ll see just how fast your dog can learn, change, and fill with confidence to try new things. The 10-day trial of 2-Minute-Trainer is free. Because we know you’ll become an addict. Like us. And you’ll get a Quick Start game free, so you and your dog can start having fun right away. Because games are learning, and learning is fun in the 2-Minute Trainer world!

Join 2-Minute Trainer now