Tips for Successful New Adventures

 

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered – Gilbert K. Chesterton

This weekend we met with potential landlords. And, as can be expected, they asked to meet Porter as well. Now, Porter is a great dog. I will not deny that, but he’s also still a dog. Which means I can’t expect him to act perfectly in every situation, especially when new locations and people are involved. Which means I have to set him up for as much success as possible. When we put our dogs into new situations and are hoping for the best behavior from our dogs, it’s our responsibility to put them into a position that makes it possible. Here are some steps I took to ensure Porter was able to show off his best self.

1. Getting Used to the New Location

If you’re going to be somewhere new, this automatically means that it will be more exciting for your dog. New smells and new areas to check out. If you can get to the new location a little early and let your dog settle in you’ll be amazed at the difference. It’s unrealistic to expect your dog to act the same in a new place as he would at home. He’s used to home. He knows the rules and what to expect there. New locations have a lot of unknowns attached to them. If you’re able to get their earlier to let your dog settle in the better. Bring an item or two that would be at their favorite familiar location as well. A toy or a blanket. Bringing something that smells familiar will make them more comfortable.

2. Pilot Right Away

When you get to the new location, don’t short on your Piloting. Just because it’s a new location doesn’t mean your dog should have no guidance on what is acceptable or not. The faster you can start Piloting in a new location the sooner your dog will settle in. He’ll realize that not everything in this marvelous new place is a threat and that you have everything under control so he can settle in. And maybe sniff a few more new things.

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

3. Activity

Make sure your dog can get out some excess energy with some activity. It can be a walk with you and if you’re in a place where your dog can run safely, let him go get some energy out after a walk without you. Play some fetch or let them run. Anything to get out some of that anxious energy. If you’re going to let your dog get some energy out on his own though, make sure that once they’re done, you go back into a short walk. Something to let them regroup into a calm state and finish up with some Piloting.

4. Expect the Unexpected

No situation is going to go as exactly as planned. Our little curve ball was that there would be a 2 year old meeting Porter as well. Porter does not have much contact with children. I can count on one hand how many times he’s met a kid. But, there was no point in panicking. That was the situation, so we could only react to it and answer Porter’s questions: Is this small little being that’s my size a threat? Nope, not at all. There’s no reason to worry about why they asked the question as long as you answer it!

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

5. Trust Your Skills

You know how to Pilot your dog and you’ve done a lot of work so far. So, trust your skills. If you start to get nervous, realize that your dog will pick up on the energy that you are exuding. Remember: Fake it until you make it. If you’re not feeling confident, take some deep breaths and think about all of the times you’ve Piloted your dog through new situations before. Making sure your energy is confident and calm is key. If you don’t seem concerned or worried your dog won’t either. I know, it’s hard. There may be times where your dog doesn’t act perfect, but don’t get frustrated. Just deal with the situation at hand. Don’t worry about what anyone else is thinking. Quite honestly, if you’re able to handle a situation quickly and calmly everyone will be impressed.

If you keep this tips in mind you’ll set you and your dog up for a great new adventure. Don’t stress new situations because you have the tools to make them successful! And just to let you know, Porter did great and made a new friend that’s about his height.

Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH

 

Winter Road Tripping Tips

 

Boots and Bee Photography - By Brittany Graham

Boots and Bee Photography – By Brittany Graham

All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination – Earl Nightingale

Road tripping with your dog can be a little stressful sometimes. However, road tripping during the winter can be even more stressful! Snow and cold temperatures make it more difficult than in the summer months. However, it shouldn’t stop you and your pup from getting out there and going on new adventures! So here are some tips on how to make Winter Road Tripping a little easier.

Plan Out Your Stops

It’s cold out these days, which can make rest stops a little tricky. If you have more than one of you in the car, alternate who gets to go into the rest stop. This ensures someone is always with the dog. If you can’t guarantee that, go quickly and make sure you keep the heat on in the car for your dog.

Get Creative with Activity

Each time you stop, you should allow your dog some time to let out some energy. Now, your normal rest stop isn’t going to have a dog park so you’ll need to get creative with it. Find some park benches he can jump up and over or take a few laps around the outside of the parking lot. Now, if there’s snow that’s even better! The plows will have made some nice and tall snow piles. So make your dog climb up them! He’ll have lots of fun and get out a lot of energy. Keep an eye out for signs that your dog is too cold like shivering or lifting of the paws. But you don’t need to do this for very long. You’ve got places to be! Just a few up and downs on the snow piles will be enough to get out a little more energy.

Loving the blankets

Loving the blankets

Blankets, Blankets, Blankets

Make sure you have some blankets in the back seat for your pup. Now, using blankets that smell like you or your dog are even better. It makes them a little more comfortable because it smells familiar and safe. It will help them settle into the drive a little easier. Also, in case of an emergency, you will have blankets for you and your dog to keep warm with. Now, no one wants that to happen, but it’s always good to be prepared.

Bundle Up

Along the lines of emergencies, just in case anything should happen or if the temperature should drop drastically, it’s not a bad idea to have a sweater or coat on hand for your pup. Any extra warmth will be appreciated by your four legged friend. It’s always good to be prepared!

Preferably you would bundle your dog in a coat and not this mummy type blanket style Porter is trying to pull off here

Preferably you would bundle your dog in a coat and not this mummy type blanket style Porter is trying to pull off here

A Few of Their Favorite Things

On any road trip, make sure you have a few toys that your dog loves that they can entertain themselves with while you’re driving. Anything to help them not be quite as bored is helpful. Remember, you’re trying to make this drive as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for everyone.

If you have any more winter road trip advice for you and your dog please feel free to share!

Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH