Put on your work clothes.

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We all wear uniforms or work approved clothes when we are off to do our jobs. Maybe we have jobs we love or maybe they are hard, demanding or uninspiring. We know that if we do it we get a paycheck and we can save up to do something fun that we want to do. Dogs need jobs too, it can’t all be fun and games. Help your dog out by coming up with a work uniform for those challenging places or walks with lots of distractions.

Many dogs think owners are obsolete out on the leash because they can cruise anywhere, meet every dog and the owner just happens to be there. Simply having your dog wear a different leash/collar set up for walks, riding the bus, hikes than they wear when you go to the dog park or play time. Dogs often become very equipment savvy and people become very reliant on training collars and equipment because the dog is more well behaved when you put on your special collar. It may be that you and your dog pay attention and have rules on this piece of equipment not that the collar is magical or amazing. Consider a dog walking on a permissive set up like a flexi leash and harness versus the dog on the head halti or training collar.

This is the secret professionals utilize and working dogs all use in some fashion. Guide dogs for the blind wear a cape (yellow vest) when they are working, sled dogs wear harnesses to pull a rig, search and rescue dogs have bibs or packs, therapy dogs wear identification and a badge. Each dog and handler is attentive and has clear rules when they wear the equipment. It is not social hour with dogs and people (unless that is the job). They are focused and under control.

If you have a hard time walking your dog or he goes crazy when you pull out your existing equipment think about starting fresh with a new relationship for a new piece of equipment. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a change of pace. My clients often start on a Ruff Wear slip leash to change it up and then work up to a pack or back to their normal set up. My own dog wears a back pack to ride the city bus or ferry so she knows she is going somewhere new and needs to focus. She get’s excited when I pull it out because she knows it will be new and exciting. Different equipment means different rules.

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