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It's time to rally!

Not only is your trainer preparing for competing with Pikey in obedience, rally obedience and agility, she is now in her 5th year of competing in stage rally. On February 20th, Amber is co-driving for BRAKIM Racing at the Waste Management Winter Rally, which is a part of the Wellsboro Winter Celebration this year. Come on out for the Park Expose on the Green in Wellsboro at 11:00am to get up and close to the cars, meet the drivers, co-drivers and crew, then head on out to see us race by at Antrim.

Depending on weather, you may get to see Amber work with Pikey prior to the race.

What does this have to do with dog training? Absolutely nothing, unless you have multiple hobbies and are excited about the first event of the season, along with winter coming to an end. That being said...

Spring is right around the corner! With this year's winter, it doesn’t feel like we’ve spent days on end being stuck inside the house, so I’m sure your dogs have been getting more walks than the previous winter. Here are some ways to start the spring off, and get out and enjoy that warmer weather with your dog.

Walks are ways for dogs to exercise, get out some mental stimulation by sniffing, and get out to enjoy some outside air. Depending on the size and breed of your dog, sometimes even a 2 to 3 mile walk is not enough, and some dogs need to run. Consider burning off some extra energy by doing these things:

Backpacks are great for dogs that need to burn off a little more energy, like to pull on leash, or if you are trying to build up more muscle. This should be done slowly, and your dog needs to get used to the backpack before you strap it on and go for a walk. Once your dog is used to the backpack, you can begin adding weight by putting bottled water in the pockets. Do this slowly, as your dog isn’t used to carrying additional weight, and you don’t want to cause an injury. Keep each side even with the amount of weight so one side is not heavier than the other. One bonus of your dog wearing a backpack, is that your dog can now carry poop bags and water dish too! Pikey is sporting her backpack in this picture:

Treadmills are used to burn off energy in addition to daily walks. Human treadmills can be used, which have a set speed; and there are treadmills made specifically for dogs, where the dog gets to choose the speed. You don't need anything fancy, or expensive. Getting dogs accustomed to treadmills can take time and patience for some dogs, but most dogs enjoy this exercise and look forward to it.

Weight pull / Carting burns off extra energy, builds muscle, and has even been used to help with some behavior problems. You will need a special harness, and some type of weight or cart for your dog to pull. Weight should be started out very light and gradually built up to prevent injury.

Biking is another great way to allow your dog to run. Springer attachments can be purchased so your dog isn’t pulling you off of your bike, or running into your bike at the same time. In the beginning, don’t expect your dog to know it needs to stay on the side you have him running on. You will need to build speed and time separately and slowly to prevent injury as well.

Please note that there is so much information when doing a google search. Not all links in this article have been tested by PANT Dog Training Services, but are for informational purposes. Please research, contact us for additional information, and only choose exercise methods you are comfortable with. Some of these links have additional information on getting you and your dog ready.

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