My Doggie Valentine

You love your dog. That goes without saying. They’re wonderful companions that greatly improve our lives. We all love on our dogs by petting them and giving them treats but have you ever considered other ways to enrich their lives as they enrich ours? This Valentine’s Day, show your dog you love them in new ways and make them your doggie valentine.


Dogs need mental and physical stimulation, in order to live happy and fulfilled lives. A bored dog is liable to act out in undesired ways leading to unwanted frustrations. A working dog is a happy dog. Teaching your dog a new trick and putting the time in to train with them will help deepen your bond and positively reinforce desired behavior. Our trainers can teach you several tricks and games to play with your dog to help you keep your dog stimulated and well behaved. Set up a complimentary meet and greet with one of our Knoxville dog trainers

Field Trips:

Dogs love to go on walks but are their walk becoming routine? Next time you reach for that harness take your buddy on an adventure to somewhere new. Take your dog out for a hike, go to the dog park, or take them with you to run errands at pet-friendly stores. Incorporating field trips to new places is exhilarating for them and will stimulate them more than a routine walk. Take your pup on a Valentine's day hike, see parks near you


Does your dog have a favorite toy or puzzle that has seen better days? Treat them to a new one and watch them light up with joy. A brand new puzzle toy can provide hours of mental engagement and stimulation. Especially if they have already figured out their other puzzles. Having a constant rotation of toys to play with keeps your furry friend engaged and focused on their new toys rather than your nice shoes or couch cushions. Valentine's day is all about giving gifts to your most loved ones, why not spoil your dog?

Have a Spa Day:

Just like you love to get your nails and hair done, taking your furry friend to the groomer can show them that you love them and care for them. While they may not necessarily enjoy being at the groomer. They will enjoy nicely trimmed nails and a well-brushed coat. Keeping on top of your dog's hygiene, especially for certain breeds that need regular maintenance, leads to happier pups.

Enriching Their Diet:

You already take great care in what you feed your dog by buying them special kibble, adding a few things into their diet can help curb the boredom of mealtime. Cut the ends off raw vegetables and add it to their bowl, add egg whites you were going to discard from baking, throw in a spoonful of cottage cheese or a splash of fish oil. Zesting up their meals shows them that you care and want them to enjoy mealtime as much as you do.

Keep Reading The Knoxville Dog Training Blog

Leash Reactive Dogs

Take a quick jog or walk through any suburban neighborhood around dusk and you’ll likely see this common sight: Leash reactive dogs lunging at each other from opposite sides of the street, pulling and embarrassing the human walking with them.

What is Leash Reactivity?

Leash reactivity in dogs can manifest itself in many ways: Think lunging, jumping, snarling, rearing up like a stallion, growling, barking and overexcitement when walking on a leash. Simply put, a leash-reactive dog is one that is especially sensitive and reactive while on a leash. Leash reactive dogs aren’t bad dogs – many are well-behaved off-leash and even play well with other dogs at dog parks and at home.

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Here are 3 things you need to know about leash reactivity in dogs and what you can do to manage your dog’s behavior when walking on a leash.

Natural Interactions

When off-leash and in their own natural environment, dogs usually greet from the side and then sniff each other’s genitals. They don’t approach head-on and make hard eye contact unless a fight is about to start. Additionally, dogs generally only greet each other for a few seconds. Dogs who meet on a leash usually meet head first, and when neighbors stop and chat, tensions can rise. Dog owners need to be aware of how dogs behave on their own and need to create as natural interactions as possible, even during leashed walks.

Use Your Manners

Dog owners also don’t often recognize rude behavior from other dogs. If one leashed dog greets another leashed dog during a walk by running up and jumping on him, this isn’t cute or playful, it’s downright rude in dog society and could be the result of a poorly socialized dog.

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Positive Reinforcement

Leash reactivity can be corrected with positive reinforcement dog training. You can start curbing this unwanted behavior by teaching your dog to focus on you, not other dogs, during walks. You can start working on this lesson by starting leashed walks in areas without distractions, like in your living room or fenced yard.

For more information about curbing leash reactivity with positive reinforcement dog training, read about My Curious Canine's training style or schedule a free meet and greet or ask about our mastering the walk mini-course.

Keep Reading The Knoxville Dog Training Blog