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Have you been deliberating over what you can get your dog for Christmas? The answers are delicious and fun!

1. A new toy to play interactive games with your dog like TUG! Interactive games like a flirt pole or tug toy are the best way to play with your dog! These types of toys are strictly for use when you are interacting with your dog and should not be left out with them. They are specially reserved for the time you spend together!

2. Some tasty treats to play games with! Even better if they are produced by an amazing local company like Ber Bites here in Nanaimo! Even better when used to do some training or in a new food puzzle or food toy!

3. A new chew toy like a Kong or West Paw Topl or lick mat to help with calming and giving them an appropriate outlet when you are busy or need them to settle down.

4. A new EXPERIENCE!!! Something fun you can do together! Go for an adventure in a new place, walk in a park you haven't been to, or take a class to try something different. Make memories and build a great relationship with your dog!

Here is a list of PAWesome classes starting in January!

  • Agility Level 1 & 2 -Foundation skills and building sequencing

  • Real Life -Parkour and real-world skills at Maffeo Sutton Park

  • Leash Walking Bootcamp - 4 weeks to get those leash skills working right!

  • Recall Rescue-Training your dog to come the first time you call.

  • Level 1, 2 &3 -From foundation skills to Rally obedience and Canine Good Neighbour skills!

  • Puppy socialization! - Perfect for that new pup to get their paws out into the world learning about people, dogs, novelty and more!

  • Don't forget the mini-seminars! Loose leash Skills, Play and social cues, Stop Jumping up and more!

What is your dog getting for Christmas???

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I love working with dogs of all ages and all stages of development, but there is something so magical about seeing puppies and young dogs learn skills and really "get it" for the first time. This little "Ah hah!" moment is when the light bulb comes on and they figure out how to get what they want.

Have you ever heard of Manding? It is a combination of two words Demanding and Manners that we use to refer to dogs and specifically puppies who have learned to use a skill or behaviour to ask for what they want. The best example would be a dog that has learned to sit to ask for things. You are holding their dinner and they have learned to sit, in order for you to put some food down. They want to play and know that to get you to engage they need to sit to ask politely before you will play. Or even sitting when you put your hand on the door because they know you won't open it until they do so.

Another great example of manding would be the dog looking at what they want and then looking at you to ask for permission. They may do it once or repeat it a few times depending on what they have learned.

Manding is something that you can teach your dog, it provides a great way for your dog to communicate their desires and an appropriate way to do so. It also provides good behaviour we can reward! But remember, just because they ask for something, doesn't mean they have to get it or get it right that moment!

How do you begin to teach your dog Manding? Ask for the behaviour you would like before letting them out the door, before feeding them their meal, getting to play with another dog, greeting a person, giving them a toy or playing with them. If they are asked and rewarded for the skill often they will start to offer it more and more!

Being able to communicate with your dog is amazing and even more so when they can signal to us what they would like!

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