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What is Cooperative Care?

Does your dog HATE having their nails clipped?

Do they run away at the sight of their toothbrush no matter the kind of toothpaste you pick?

It can be so frustrating and hard to care for a dog who dislikes care tasks.

And expensive to have the vet or groomer do it for you!

Enter cooperative care.

What is cooperative care?

Cooperative care is working with your dog to complete their care tasks instead of against them.

It is an easy, low conflict way to get them done without stressing your dog and allowing them freedom of choice.

The Basics

The basics of cooperative care are very easy!

The first step is to make the sight of the tool that you use (toothbrush, brush, clippers) a fun and exciting thing!

Simply follow these steps below for a few days to get the excitement and positivity:

  1. Prepare your dog's all time favorite treat (usually something soft and stinky like cheese).
  2. Hold the tool behind your back.
  3. Show the tool to your dog (don't expect them to touch it or do anything...
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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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