Hope everyone got to enjoy their summer! As I write this, the temperature has dropped 35 degrees since yesterday! Living in northern Wisconsin really limits the length of our summer type weather! We try to take advantage of it as much as possible! We also try to find great ways to include our furry kid, Reba!
Reba is a British lab and enjoys most things that labs do! She loves to swim and jump off docks! We work with the bumper and don’t have the snow to deal with during our few summer months. Leaping to catch a Frisbee is a favorite past time too! Summer is a wonderful time to start or refresh and continue your shed antler training. It’s great exercise for all of us! Please, always stay hydrated and keep your pets safe from overheating too!
Depending on the day’s plans and weather conditions we will have a short one antler session or perhaps find several! Sometimes we take turns with our activities if we have a great day and time available. We’ve found that playing different “games” keeps Reba on top of things. We may play Frisbee, which doesn’t require a stay or a sit. Playing bumper means practicing sit, stay, release, and return with a hand off. Sometimes we go back to the soft shed that came with her DogBone training kit and play fetch. Shed hunting calls for working that nose and returning with the treasure and being willing to give it up! Reba has been able to learn all this and enjoys it all.
While this is fun for her it is a great refresher so she stays on top of all the different activities. She knows what “Let’s find some bones” means. There is no visible cue when we work on shed hunting, but when she hears the command she knows and is instantly excited. (There have been a few occasions where she “finds the bones” even when not asked. She had discovered where I kept them, while she couldn’t access them she knew and kept letting me know she knew!) We have not tested her or entered any competitions but she is performing the way we ask her to and that is what counts whether competing or just being a great partner.
Reba is a well-rounded dog. She loves to play/work but equally loves snuggling as well. She has a wonderful temperament and is the perfect dog for my son who can be a little overwhelming I’m sure.
I believe keeping her active is a huge part of keeping her happy. When a dog is happy and active they are less likely to find trouble and that keeps the owner happy.
Shed hunting has been a great extension of the list of activities we enjoy together. The training is not hard like I originally believed it to be. Training doesn’t need to be expensive either. Doing the training yourself saves you money and can bond you and your dog in yet another way! As our partner, friend, family member, I think they deserve to be happy! A trained dog is also a safer dog. The more you work with Fido the more he will trust you and listen to you!
As we look forward to frost this weekend we know snow isn’t far behind. We will continue to “find the bones” even in the snow. While it looks different depending on the time of year, shed hunting training is a year round activity to work on together. After all, the NOSE knows, in rain, snow or shine!