Today is the one year anniversary of the FitDog Friday blog hop. Be sure to visit SlimDoggy where they are giving away some great prizes as part of their celebration!
FitDog Fridays have provided us with a lot of inspiration and motivation to “Get Off Your Butt, Workout With Your Mutt” – SlimDoggy’s slogan. At the beginning of this year they also threw out a “Resolve to Move Your Mutt” challenge, and we made some resolutions for the new year. The idea was that we could check in quarterly to see how we’re doing and get re-motivated if need be.
Cricket’s resolution was to work on her leash walking and reactivity. We haven’t been walking much because of the awful winter we’ve been having, but we have been working on her reactivity by teaching her the “watch me” command. We practice in the house and yard and I did take her for a walk last weekend on one of our rare nice days, and I think she did great. She hardly pulled on the leash at all on our way out, and we stopped every so often for her to “watch me” and get a treat, and I think she seemed a little more relaxed. We ran into our neighbor down at the tree farm, and when Cricket didn’t recognize her at first we thought she was going to bark at her. I gave her the command and a treat, she relaxed and then realized she knew this person and started wiggling and wagging her tail. Our goal is to get her more relaxed on walks and I think we’re working towards that.
Sheba’s resolution was to work on her back legs, and I have to confess we didn’t do this much. But when SlimDoggy posted their update on their resolutions a couple of weeks ago, it reminded me and we started working on it. We’ve been doing some training out in the yard when playing ball, so I added in some “squats” to help strengthen her back legs. She sits, then stands and takes 2-3 steps forward and sits again. Sheba has arthritis in her front shoulers so I think it’s important to strengthen her back legs. Our beagle Kobi had very weak back legs as he aged and I want to avoid this in the other dogs. Our next step is to get her a K9 FitVest to up the intensity of these exercises.
Luke’s resolution was to be a good student and learn lots of new things. He is doing well! Training is a part of our everyday routine with “sit”, “come”, and “stay” being our first focuses. He does excellent with sit, is learning stay (the girls are great examples for him on both of those), but come is kind of hit or miss, depending on if he’s preoccupied with something else. He’s also started with “watch me” a little bit also, and I want to add “leave it” very soon. My hubby is taking him to obedience school starting the middle of the month, and that should really be great for him!
Other than all that, as you can see from the photos we are still playing in the snow a lot, but spring is on it’s way and we should be able to start a lot more walking, and running for Cricket. Last weekend we were able to get the deck cleared of snow, and got out the agility tunnel again. I threw the ball in once and that got Luke going through it several times again!
One other thing we’ve learned is that diet is just as important as exercise and we need to count the calories the dogs take in. We had started measuring the dogs’ food but we were still a bit disorganized with three different types of containers (they all eat different food) and scoops of varying sizes. My hubby does most of the feeding so he knows the system but when I do it one day a week I wasn’t always sure I was doing the exact right amounts. So I came up with this:
Now there is only one measuring cup for all of the food and as you can see we have written on there how much they each get. This will work great for the times we need to have a pet sitter also. I feel so much better being more organized. Now I just need to more closely calculate the treats they each get. SlimDoggy had a great idea in one of their posts last week of making up “treat bags” for each day with a set number of treats in it. I plan to start doing this, once I sit down and re-check calories on each. We try to be conservative with doling out treats, and to use more low calorie ones but I’d like to do just a bit better.
That’s a wrap up of how we’ve been doing on our resolutions (a little better than I first thought!) and what we’ve been up to lately. Now that our weather is changing I hope to have some new updates to share soon. Enough with the snow photos already! 🙂