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Top Five Ways to Help Your Reactive Dog

Reactivity is so tough to live with.

It feels isolating and overwhelming, and sometimes it feels like it will never get better.

Both of my dogs have dealt with reactivity, and I know how tough it can be.

The good news is that there are lots of LOW ENERGY ways to help calm reactivity and make it easier for you to train your pup!

That's what I want to share with you today.

Sometimes training is overwhelming, and you just don't have it in you. 

And on those days, you can follow these instead!

1. Quality Sleep

Dogs need at least 16 hours of sleep per day, uninterrupted.

When dogs are sleep deprived, they can show an increase in reactivity and an inability to regulate themselves back down after a reaction.

If your dog only seems to sleep at night, and isn't getting the sleep they need, this should be a top priority for you!

If you need help getting better sleep with your dog, read my blog post from last month by clicking here.

2. Trigger-Free Exercise

Just like us, dogs need...

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How to Sleep Better: Dog Edition

If you're anything like me, you STRUGGLE to get enough sleep.

Living with ADHD and autism makes sleep feel almost impossible for me, but I know how important it is to my mood, my health, and my focus.

And you know who else my lack of sleep affects?

MY DOG.

Dogs need even more sleep than we do. About 16 hours PER DAY!

That's almost double our daily needs.

Dogs also have a shorter sleep cycle than we do, which means they wake more often - and need more - to experience the same effect as we do.

Because of this, I focus heavily on sleep in all of my training protocols. Sometimes fixing a lack of sleep makes enough difference in training to make things 10 times easier for their owner.

So today, I wanted to share with you my top tips to getting better sleep with your dog. 

1. Keep a consistent routine.

This one is really hard for me (thanks ADHD), but I manage to do okay when I realize that my dog needs it!

Dogs typically sleep overnight just like us, and they also tend to be...

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Grooming Tips and Tricks For Neurodivergent Dog Guardians

Grooming dogs and keeping up with their care can be hard, even without ADHD or autism.

Add either of those (or both!) to the mix, and it can feel almost impossible.

One of my biggest personal struggles (autistic and ADHDer here) is keeping up with my dogs grooming and maintenance, and almost all of my autistic clients would say the same.

As I've worked with dogs and their handlers more and more, I've developed several strategies to help overcome the struggle of grooming and maintenance while dealing with sensory overwhelm, distraction, and more.

Like any advice, try one idea out at a time. Keep what works, and don't be afraid to toss out the things that don't.

Here are some of my top tips for grooming and handling dogs for handlers with ADHD, autism, or other neurodivergencies. I hope you find them helpful!

 1. Make the job smaller & more frequent.

Instead of trimming all your dogs nails, brushing them, bathing them, and brushing their teeth all in one day, turn it into...

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Six Easy Steps to Loose Leash Walking

My dog pulls like a freight train!

What do I do?!

This is a common complaint I hear from almost everyone first beginning their training journey with me. 

Loose leash walking is the biggest skill my clients seem to want and struggle to get.

It seems elusive and confusing.

While it may be daunting and overwhelming at first glance, when you break it down, loose leash walking is easy and can be trained through simple, fun games!

Here are the six key things I teach all my clients for a great loose leash walk and some games to play for each!

1. Name Recognition

Most dogs have a conflicting view on their name. We usually use our dogs name for both good things and bad things, like a bath or scolding for chewing the couch.

In order to work well on leash, we want our dogs to know their name as something super positive and exciting. That way, you can get their attention at any time in order to call them to heel to pass a dog or leave the nasty chicken bone alone.

Teaching...

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Understanding Your Dog: Top Five Books on My Reading List

books dog training dogs Apr 05, 2022

So you want to understand your dog?

Why they bark at the mailman...

Why they can be fine one moment and the next hyper and wild, zooming around the room at top speed...

Why they are ALWAYS sniffing...

I could never tell you everything you need to know about your dog in one blog post, but what I can do is tell you the top five books I've read as a professional dog trainer that have helped me understand my dogs.

And in turn, have helped me view them with compassion and empathy.

Each book will have a brief synopsis of what I enjoyed and which aspects of your dog you will learn about as well as a link to purchase them online.

*I may receive a small commission if you purchase using these links. Thank you for supporting my content!*

And now, let's get started with number one!

1. Meet Your Dog by Kim Brophey

This book is at the top of my list because it is the book that I wish everyone would read before purchasing or adopting a dog. Even if it's not their first!

This book walks through...

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