Sometimes the universe delivers a bump in the road like an injury. Last month, I injured my foot (again… osteopenia) and I’m wearing an orthopedic boot for a few weeks and doing my best to keep weight off the injury. It is so helpful to have a dog with skills when recovering from an injury. My dog River gained and practiced many valuable skills taking group classes, earning her Canine Good Citizen award, earning her Dog Scout Title, and attending many public events with her local Dog Scouts Troop. A special thanks to Troop Leader Christine Gecshwill, many of my dog trainer friends, and dog owning friends that helped when River was a puppy.
One of my biggest challenges is having to use a knee walker to keep weight off my foot. As a puppy, River was stressed and frightened of things that moved on wheels. I worked with River by desensitizing and counterconditioning to carts at plant nurseries and dog friendly stores, luggage, and dollies. Three days before River’s first birthday, I had my first foot injury and had to use a knee walker. River walks beautifully next to the knee walker now.
All of the items on the Dog Scout test and the Canine Good Citizen test are very valuable skills in life, especially when the handler has an injury. Injuries make physically restraining a dog with a leash alone difficult and dangerous. Sit stay, coming when called, leave it, and heeling are crucial skills when taking your dog in public especially when the handler is injured.
River has experience in going to the groomer and being handled by others. Sometimes an injury can be so exhausting or painful that having others bathe and walk your dog is the best solution.
Consider how you would care for your dog if you had an injury. Prepare your dog for any skills she would need to have others care for her or you. Consider sharpening your skills with your dog in public so that your dog is not denied enrichment and exercise while you recover from an injury.
Looking for a top notch dog trainer/behavior expert in Greater Fort Lauderdale? Please call Oh Behave Dog Training at 954-587-2711 now for a free phone consultation.