The dog days of summer: How to keep the fun cool - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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The dog days of summer: How to keep the fun cool

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Posted: Monday, June 27, 2011 10:17 am

With summer here most of us will spend less time outside. This can be a difficult time, especially for our young, high-energy dogs. Here are some tips on keeping summer cool and fun:

• Please keep the following in mind if you plan to tough out the summer and walk your dog. Can you touch the surface your dog will walk on? If your hand burns your canine’s paws will burn, too. Early mornings are the coolest time of the day and the best time to venture out into the heat. I often drench my dog with a garden hose and then proceed on our walk. Remember, dogs get dehydrated, too. Give your dog plenty of water.

• If you have a pool, teach your dog to swim. Make sure your dog learns where the steps are and is able to get out of the pool as needed. If you don’t have a pool you can buy a plastic kid’s pool. These make great big water bowls and a place to cool down.

• Here are some inside the house games you can play to keep your dog active and stimulated. These games will also assist in reinforcing the training your have done with your dog:

- Find it!. This game involves hiding tiny bits of a treat throughout the house. Your dog will need to use his/her nose to seek them out. Start with putting the treat next to your dog and say, “Find it!” Gradually move the treat farther away and increase the difficulty. Gradually increase the difficulty and spread the treats throughout the house.

- Hide and seek. Hide somewhere in your home, then call your dog to you. Reward your dog with a tasty treat. This game assists with reinforcing recall and is lots of fun. This could be a game the kids can play with their canine companion.

• If there are two humans in the home, distance yourselves from one another. One person calls your dog. Then the other person calls the dog. The dog will practice recall and get a bit of exercise running from one person to the other. This works great if you have a two-story home and one person is upstairs and the other person remains downstairs. Again, rewarding your dog with a tasty treat reinforces the recall.

The time you spend with your dog will reap plenty of rewards as you reinforce positive behaviors while keeping them stimulated and physically active. You’ll have a happier, well-behaved canine companion as a result.

Please consider volunteering, donating and or adopting from your local shelter!

 Ahwatukee Foothills resident Beth Friedman is owner of Canine Companion Consulting, which conducts in-home dog training. Canine Companion Consulting’s mission is to enhance the dog and human relationship by assisting humans to better understand dog culture and behavior, which results in a happy, well trained dog. Reach her at (602) 790-9430, or visit

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