It's hard to believe it's been nearly three months since I last blogged! Though it's not surprising that my last post here coincided with the beginning of the semester. To continue my education, I enrolled in a Master's of Science program with a concentration in Applied Animal Behavior & Welfare and it has absconded with any spare time I may have had.
Although the Wild Thing blogosphere has been somewhat neglected of late, I've done my best to continue to engage in my own dog's training - even if it's just fun stuff like tricks! If your own busy schedule keeps you from doing a lot of the things on your to do list, but you'd still like to get in some quality time with your dog, consider checking out these options:
Online trick classes with Joan Forry of The Dog Abides, LLC. I'm currently enrolled in a tricks class with our resident Wild Thing, Portia, and we are both having a blast! I try to practice our tricks for 5 minutes each day outside of class, which provides her with a little boost of physical and mental enrichment. I've even enrolled for a couple more upcoming classes and can't wait!
Helping Dogs Thrive with Lori Stevens through Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. I haven't had a chance to really delve into this class yet, as I've been busy with trick training (among other things), but the nice thing about classes through FDSA is you have access to the content on your account even after the class formally ends. I also love classes that help keep my senior dog active and healthy. FDSA has a ton of other classes to choose from as well. There's bound to be something to suit your fancy!
Decompression walks. Sarah Stremming defines decompression walks as freedom of movement in nature. I've been striving to get one of these in anytime the weather cooperates, and it's great for both me and my dog. It's not always somewhere super interesting or long. Sometimes we just head to the wooded area behind our apartment for 20 minutes. I hitch Portia up to a 33' long line and let her sniff to her heart's content. It's good for her to get out of the apartment and stretch her legs, and it's good for me to get away from my studies for a bit!
I know spending a wee bit of time each day doing something fun or relaxing with my dog is great for my own well-being (and hers). I hope finding time to try out one of the above activities will do the same for you and your dog. If you've found a fun activity to share with your canine companion that's easy to fit into a busy schedule, please share it with us in the comments below!