Hi folks! I’m Laurie, owner and head trainer of Adventure Dogs Academy. I’ve been a dog lover since I was a kid, and could always be found with the animals on my parents’ farm.
Dogs Shaped My Childhood
Our dogs shaped my childhood. They had no fences, rarely wore collars, and received no formal training. Their days were spent doing whatever they pleased – loping around the fields and woods, noses pressed the ground; chasing and catching wildlife; sleeping in the afternoon sun.
They’re a big part of the inspiration behind my business name – these dogs lived the good life, a new adventure every day, free from the boundaries and expectations imposed on today’s dogs. They were not only content, they were thriving, and they had no behavior problems. Why? Because they had many opportunities every day to expel energy and use their brains and noses.
My goal is to help you enjoy your dog, by allowing them to be a dog. By letting them sniff. Ripping up toys. Chasing “prey.” Running and jumping and rolling in the grass. Getting dirty! Now I’m not suggesting you go to the nearest field, unclip your dog’s leash, and let them run away without consequence! The majority of us don’t live in an area where that’s safe or practical. But there are many ways to safely enrich your dog’s life, which will improve their mental health as well as their behavior, when done in conjunction with training.
- Taking your dog for walks in new areas, preferably on a long-line, and allowing them to sniff, with zero expectation of training/heeling
- Play with a flirt pole (for dogs who love to chase)
- Food puzzles to mentally challenge them
- Training games and teaching tricks to provide more brain work and build connection
- Provide appropriate outlets for chewing/destroying
- Nosework games
With Pickles, I began to see a decrease in his anxiety and stress when I changed the length of his leash from 5ft to 20ft, and allowed him to sniff to his heart’s (and nose’s) content on walks. This small change brought about more relaxation in the house and less reactions to passersby while on walks.
So, if you’ve never tried any of the above ideas, give them a shot. Have anything to add? Let us know what changes you’ve made and where they’ve made a difference in your dog’s life.