A week ago I had to say goodbye to Denver, my Labrador Retriever. He was a special dog to me and my family. He and I had an amazing bond, forged over the nearly 13 years I had him. Some dogs are just like that. If you’re reading my blog, you probably already know these things and know exactly what it means to have a “heart dog.” In trying to work through my own grief over losing him, I thought it would help to write about some of the things I’m grateful for during Denver’s last days.
I have been big proponents of FitPaws equipment and have also recommended The Klimb platform from Blue-9 Products. These are both great products to add some fun games and activities to your dog’s life. These are both great products that can help you promote your training services and/or add as upsell services to your training clients. Regardless of how you use them, I am a huge fan.
If you’ve spent any time around me you have heard me say something to the effect of, “Arousal and aggression are linked.” It seems to be a mantra that is one of my soap box issues and I say it at least once every time I give a seminar.
- It’s the reason I don’t want to roughhouse with dogs too much.
- It’s the reason I don’t want play at the dog park to go uninterrupted for too long.
- It’s the reason I stress that daycare staff need to supervise the dogs.
- It’s one thing I want everyone who deals with dogs to understand.
Arousal and aggression are linked! But what does it really mean?
For the past 20+ years I’ve been a dog trainer. I’ve taught dogs of all ages and sizes with a focus primarily on family pet dog training and household manners. I love working with families and their dogs because I know just how fulfilling life with a well-mannered pet can be. But I often smile to myself at the comment that my dogs must be perfect because I’m a dog trainer. Well, sure, I like to think I have a leg up on understanding how to set my dog up to succeed. I like to think that I can heed the advice I give to so many families. But still, dog trainer’s dogs aren’t perfect because dog trainers aren’t perfect. Here is just one of several stories I can provide to illustrate this fact.
Denver, my Lab, is a senior dog. He’s just a few months shy of his 13th birthday but he still looks young and still acts young at heart. Denver is the first dog I’ve had that has lived well into his senior years, and I’m thankful for every moment we have together. Truth be told he has some sort of tumor in his stomach and I’m not sure how much longer he’ll be around, but we’re making the most of each day we have together. As I thought about my life with a senior dog, I thought I’d share some of the things that I think have made Denver’s senior years more enjoyable. So here, in no particular order, are some great ideas for senior dogs.