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Conscious Companion

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Training is about relationships & teaching; it's essential for our animal companions! 
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This month's Recommended Reading: BARKS from the Guild
Have you heard about BARKS from the Guild magazine?? It's a diverse collection of insightful, science-based articles, product reviews, and news stories pertinent to the ‪#‎pet industry, and your animal companions!

Conscious Companion's article, "Entering a Judgment-Free Zone:Guiding Clients and the Public Through Compassionate Education" is on page 50. I am so honored to be included.
You can view the entire magazine online here:
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Looking for a fun way to train your horse? Check out this post! I bet they have the most amazing bond!
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"People should learn how to be a skilled, generous, creative "feeder." That is, they should understand and embrace the fact that their main role, if they want to be a great trainer, is to reinforce repeatedly any dog behaviors they want to see more of." ~Kathy Sado
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Saturday's Senior Tip:  

Cold weather is "ruff" on older dogs, but with the right tools and insight you can have a positive impact on your senior dog's attitude and health by keeping him warm and comfortable, and keeping his mind and body gently active.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

--> Beds: Think soft, cushioned, low and heated.

--> Clothes: Older dogs, like older people, have a harder time maintaining their body temperature. Slender, short-coated breeds have an even harder time. Check out the sweater selection at your locally owned pet store, repurpose thrift-store clothes, or make your own!

--> Ramps and steps: Who wants to watch TV without their senior dog at their side? Add steps to help him/her get up there! Also consider a permanent ramp going down the back porch steps, or a slide-out ramp to help your dog get into the car.  (More of these tips here:

Cold weather and ARTHRITIS tips:

Fun Mental Games to Play with Older Dogs:
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"I feel keeping a promise to yourself is a direct reflection of the love you have for yourself.  I used to make promises to myself and find them easy to break.  Today, I love myself enough to not only make a promise to myself, but I love myself enough to keep that promise." 

Did you make any promises to yourself or your animal companions for 2015?  

I was inspired to share some of the things that I have learned over the years, and what I have set the intention to focus on, and improve upon in 2015.

Happy New Year to you and yours! 

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Monday's Myth: Spiteful and Vengeful #Pets  

At some point in our lives we have all blamed an unwanted behavior of our pets on spite and revenge. It's ok to admit it. We all make mistakes, and it's natural to see things from our perspective. 

But learning to see life from our animal companion's perspective takes objectivity and an unemotional response. That is not an easy task when we are upset.

So what's behind some of these behaviors that we see in our homes that upset us so much?? 

The next time your animal companion does something that upsets you, and you really believe that he/she is doing it out of spite, take a deep breath, step back, and replace the word "spiteful" with any of the following other "S" words:

- sickness
- separation anxiety
- sadness 
- stress
- species-specific needs

FACT: Anxiety is the most common emotional state underlying soiling in the house and destroying “our property”. 

Fact: Underlying medical issues are often at the root of many behavioral issues. 

Fact: Every species that I have ever known and worked with has demonstrated that they are very self aware, but being spiteful and vengeful were not characteristics that they embodied.

Fact: Animals are not plotting their revenge on us. They are not planning how to get back at us. They are not programmed the way humans are. So we must learn to recognize what is really going on with the animal that we have chosen to bring into our lives. 

We must learn how to take the human perceptions and judgments out of the situation, and learn to view life from the animal’s perspective. Help them! Find out what they need and what is causing their behavior. There is always a valid reason and explanation behind it, and it’s not about them trying to upset us.

You can learn more here:
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Awareness Wednesday: Separation Anxiety in #Cats - how to recognize it & prevent it with FUN! 
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Thursday's Training Tutorial: What To Teach ... Puppies!!!

There are a lot of followers on here with new #puppies, so I thought that this very insightful post from #Eileenanddogs would be right up your Puppy Alley.

Most new puppy people think that they need to be teaching their puppy things like Sit, Down, and Stay, but did you know that there are MANY other MORE IMPORTANT things to teach your puppy?

"Sit and down are 'just behaviors' ... Now is the time to establish a bond, show him that certain things pay off big-time, to reinforce a large variety of desirable behaviors in an informal way. Teach him that learning and trying stuff aren’t scary ... And the more of these good behaviors he knows, the less time Marge will have to spend diminishing undesirable ones."

Here are a few things that we encourage new puppy guardians to practice with their puppy: 

- #1: Learning is fun!!
- Name training 
- Retrieve 
- Impulse control
- Conditioning praise
- Hand targeting
- Experiencing new things is safe!

The behaviors that you teach your new puppy are far less important than growing your partnership, and creating a bond that will last a lifetime. 

Details here:
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Safety Saturday: Things That Go BOOM In The Night! 

Soon people all over the U.S. will be celebrating July 4th!  Folks everywhere are getting ready for the visual and sound smorgasbord paired with good food, great friends, and family.  However, most animals would probably order the food, but hold the fireworks. So while we are preparing to party, let’s prepare our pets, too. 

Check out my tips on how to help your #pets  feel safe on #july4th : 
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