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  • Writer's pictureCheryl @ BrightPaws

Kongs, recall and new cycling adventures await...

Hi everyone and Happy Friday! :)

I hope you've all had a good week! Luna and I have managed to get soaked several times this week - typical Scottish Summer but we've had fun along the way!

Fun kongs:

Since it is supposed to be summer and it should be filled with lots of warm, dry, sunny days I thought I'd share one of Luna's favourite treats/toys - A KONG! If you haven't come across one before I've added a wee link to get directly to the KONG page which has loads of extra info about them, but basically, a kong is a rubber toy which can be filled with food/treats and your dog has to knock it around or lick it (when frozen) to get the food/treats out.

  • It is a brilliant way to give them some enrichment and keep those brains of theirs busy.

  • It also acts as a brilliant distraction, especially if they are with you when you are out for something to eat/drink, have visitors round, to keep them busy when you're out at work etc etc...

  • It can be used as a different, more interesting way to feed them dinner and makes them work a little harder for their food.

  • They can be filled with all sorts of things and I've added a wee pic below with some of the top faves amongst dogs as well as the NO GO FOODS! Be creative - but remember to only choose food that is SAFE for dogs!

  • They come in all sizes and for all ages, from puppy size to senior dogs and they also have tough ones for the biggest chewers! :)

  • They can be found on amazon and most pet shops sell them now too!

If you haven't already got one, give it a try, your dog will love it I'm sure! :)

Luna's recall...

I have been working a lot on Luna's recall this week whilst we are walking in the woods. She is a terrier at heart and once she gets the scent of something, her nose goes into overdrive which sometimes leads her off the track a little... and I have to admit I still panic slightly if that happens although it is amazing to see her 'at work'! I can usually tell if she is about to take off so I call her over and she gets swiftly put back on the lead and given a treat for coming over. :)

My top tip is to ALWAYS have a very HIGH VALUE piece of food/treat/toy that you know your dog loves so that he/she will choose that over the distraction. In Luna's case - her choice is... follow the smell of an animal or come over for a 'big' biscuit/piece of cheese/sausage... luckily she usually chooses the food and then is put back on the lead for minute or so until we have passed the distraction! :)

If you are really not confident that your dog will come back to you (like we were until Luna was about 2 years old! - poor Luna!) practise recalls with your dog on a long line until he/she gets really good at it and remember there's some recall games on my Instagram page too. :)

New cycling adventures await...

So, you might be wondering what is happening in the other photo below... well Little Miss Luna got her very own 'buddy rider' delivered last weekend... :)

Michael and I have really got into cycling over lockdown but unfortunately Luna is too little to come on any longer cycles with us, her little legs just wouldn't manage but I really wanted to take her with us on longer cycles, soooo... I had been searching and searching for bicycle baskets but hadn't really found any that I liked until Michael spotted a 'buddy rider' on Pinterest. Well that was it, I was convinced instantly and about a week later it arrived in the post!

We've been out with her a handful of times and like anything new to your dog it's incredibly important to make positive associations with it so that your dog is not worried or ends up disliking something new. As soon as we took it out of the packaging we let her sniff it, then we put treats in it, then we encouraged her to put her paws in it and rewarded that behaviour until she eventually was able to sit in it. We then carried it around the house with her in it and gave her lots of treats to make that positive association with her 'buddy rider' and treats. Eventually we got out on the bikes and did a very short cycle and yip you guessed it, lots of treats whilst we were cycling. This helps Luna to link her 'buddy rider' with good things i.e. the treats, so that each time she is in it, she knows that the treats will be coming soon! :)

Anyway, we are heading off camping next week and can't wait to go on some walking and cycling adventures together in the Highlands! Watch this space, plenty of stories coming up next week I'm sure... :)

Have a great weekend everyone! :)

Cheryl x

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