A million paws for thought

What a weekend that was!

The weather was beautiful and so were the people (and pooches!) who stopped by our stalls at Majura Park’s Petbarn Fun Day on Saturday and the RSPCA Million Paws Walk on Sunday.

After a big day of walking and talking, we were certainly ready for a nap when it all wrapped up on Sunday afternoon.

It was so great to see everybody exercising with their beloved hounds – they really do make awesome workout partners! It can be so hard to leave them at home (I know I feel guilty when I do!), although, I know many owners have no choice – or at least feel they don’t.

I overheard a fellow Million Paws walker mention that they’d love to go running with their dog but, unfortunately, their excited pooch keeps tripping them over. It’s not the first time I’ve heard of our furry fitness pals becoming hazards on the footpath.

The thing is, you CAN go running with your pooch and not end up going head over tail; all it takes is a little bit of love and learning. When you master the ‘heel’ command with your pooch, the rewards far outweigh the work you put into training them. Not only will you and your dog be safer, you’ll both be happier because you get to run together and build a better bond

Apart from having fun with your four-legged workout partner, teaching the ‘heel’ command is a major focus in Thank Dog! Bootcamp, because it means a safer workout for you and your pooch.

For those who are not familiar with the command, ‘heel’ refers to when your dog sticks by you (just like a best friend should!) at whatever pace and whatever direction you may be going. In a perfect heel, your dog’s right shoulder should be in line with your left leg, and they should be staying quite close to you.

I’ve found most dogs catch on quite quickly when it comes to learning to heel. With persistence and plenty of praise, you and your dog could be perfecting the heel in no time. You’ll be ready to hit the ground running and your pup will love you for it!