Life Rewards - Healthy, Fit And Happy!

We see it everywhere in the United States, obesity, it has become an ever growing problem within our society.  It’s true, America has a weight problem!  Studies tell us that our children are overweight and under exercised.  When I was a child, I couldn’t wait to get home from school and go outside to play with my friends.  We played tag, hide and seek, rode our bicycles, roller skated and played many other games until the sun went down.  While we were outdoors getting exercise and fresh air, our dogs were always at our side, romping and playing in the fresh air.    Today however, most children come home from school and sit in front of computers and play games, text message each other or watch television for hours on end.  The family dog is generally sitting or lying by their side, if not in a crate, for hours on end!  Some dogs only receive short strolls around the block before dinner and dog owner’s call that exercise?!   Overweight dogs are just as susceptible to health issues as we are!  Are you guilty of tossing endless cookies to your pooch out of habit?  Does your dog sit in front of the cookie jar waiting and hoping that you pass by and toss another cookie?  When you train your dog, how many treats is your dog consuming in a session, a day, a week, a month?  All those calories add up to an overweight pooch and eventually that can add up to potentially life threatening illnesses for a dog.  Overweight dogs are just as susceptible to medical problems as people are.  Dogs, just like people, who carry too much weight, find it more difficult to get up and go.  Dogs with poor hips can find it very uncomfortable to move from a down position to a standing or sitting position if they are carrying too much weight.   Dog’s, like people, become miserable and irritable when they carry those extra pounds around. 

When I developed and designed all of my environmental enrichment programs years ago, I looked at the big picture and took quite a bit into consideration.  I knew that dogs were home alone for long hours while their owner’s were working and I knew that they were not receiving adequate exercise and/or a good dose of environmental enrichment on a daily basis.  When a dog becomes bored, just like a child, they may develop bad habits.  Unfortunately, many dog owners opt to either give their dog’s “time outs” for inappropriate house behaviors or they are compelled to constantly correct their dogs for acting out, it’s a vicious cycle!  Most of these dogs are simply bored due to a lack of environmental enrichment and exercise!

For years, I planned my programs according to the needs of both people and dogs, the programs are powerful, exciting and successful!  People are getting off the couch and shedding pounds while participating in my 4 mile Power Walking Program, they can’t wait to hit the edge of the water on Water Dog night where their dogs compete to retrieve  bumpers!   My new program that begins next week, entitled “Birdies and Bumpers” is sure to be a success as well!  Best of all, each and every dog gets rewarded with “life rewards” not cookies! 

Each and every week I meet with happy people and happy dogs!  I strongly believe that dog owners want to give their dogs the best.   Professional dog trainers can help provide the stimulation, exercise and enrichment that dogs need through their carefully designed enrichment programs.  Good Environmental Enrichment Programs motivate humans to get out and get moving with their dogs!   Life rewards are powerful for dogs and humans alike so grab your leash and get out there and get a good dose of sunshine and fresh air with your dogs!

Betty Laurin  CPDT-KA, CDBC