Friday, June 18, 2010

Stretching Out of the Uncomfortable & Wagging More

As I move along through another day of Project Happiness Life with Dog As Training Partner I’m finding some very cool things about what people who are happy practice.  Studies have shown one of those things is learning something new or doing anything new.

The problem with most people and learning something new or doing something new is....
usually at first it’s uncomfortable.

That’s why it is easy to do what we already know, what is easy and comfortable, even if it is something that doesn’t make us that happy anymore.  Doing something new is uncomfortable in mental, emotional and physical ways.  Finding somehow to practice new things in each of those areas is a sure fire way to feeling happier just after you break through the uncomfortable!

Barefoot & Paws

The analogy of feeling uncomfortable to get to a place where I want to be was alive and real in my feet this morning as I ran the West Rim Trail in my Vibram Five Fingers... or what I like to refer to them as... my barefoot shoes.

The dogs and their paws and me and my barefoot shoes headed on down the trail... and I was comfortable for about 45 minutes.  That’s when it started to become a bit of work.  The reading and studying I have been doing about barefoot running is all true.  It does take some time to build up to.... and it might be uncomfortable at times to change.... but already I see the benefit of sticking with it.

It’s a definite way to learn how to re-train yourself.  And  breaking old habits in exchange for new habits is really about re-training your brain and your body to adapt.  In the process happiness happens.  In this case I feel like I’m becoming nimble again.  Like a little kid.  It does make me want to stay moving and I’m moving faster... and more it’s more fun

But yeah... I was out there and for the last 30 minutes its started to be uncomfortable.  I could feel the rocks more, the pads of my feet felt hot... a bit burny.  Getting through uncomfortable.  That’s what I stuck with on my 90 minute run walk, at least for the last 30 minutes.

Running with the dogs and seeing how nimble and graceful and full of joy they are when they run... that’s what I’m heading towards and it is fun in the process.  Getting myself through the uncomfortable is well on it’s way.  My 10 year achilles injury that’s already much better even while I’m adding running miles is proof that when you stretch yourself a little more you get good at something new.  The brain feels happier.  The body feels happier.

Stretching the Dog’s Training

Dogs don’t have the preconceived idea that they should feel stupid or uncomfortable when doing something new.  The problem with most dogs is that their owners aren’t understanding or taking the time to show them what to do to master urban ways of getting around.

When a dog wants to stay by your side, wait for you when you stop for a minute, come back to you when off running in their nimble pawed style on a trail with “let’s go”.... or leave another dog’s ball at dog beach...... training has happened.  The only way to get there is to do it all the time.  And for you that could be uncomfortable at times while the process of learning something new for your dog happens.  The dog on the other hand will keep on trying if you are wiling to show him new ways, all the while developing more of a reason to wag.

Once those things are mastered dog’s don’t have a problem with a new idea, a new game, or a new place to go.  They adapt.  They use their paws on the sand, the rocky trail, or the paved sidewalk without complaining about uncomfortable.  Dogs don’t go through thoughts like “can’t”, “it hurts too much”, “it’s uncomfortable”..... they for the most part give a wag... and move through whatever it is to the fun side of it all without a thought that doing nothing is a better option.

Dogs I work with really do start wagging more when they get shown how to do these things... I just usually have to get them over the issue of not being shown correctly in the first place...  usually shows up in “fear aggression” or “leash aggression”, or “dog aggression”....

hmmmm... interesting.  Isn’t that the exact same anger that comes out usually as fear in people’s lives.  From anger at a parent to a bad situation at work most people are acting out of fear because they don’t feel like they have gotten what they wanted.... they haven’t been shown, they aren’t comfortable with the situation... and it stops them from feeling happy.  In fact anger, frustration and stress are what appear... like the dog’s behavior... not that nice to feel or be around really and it takes some re-trainig to get out of it.

Once the realization... practicing with the mind on what you can do, what makes you happy... what new thing you’re into to look forward to... like barefoot running, taking the dog the beach... all those things that matter if you do them every day or every once in a while.....

Stretch to the Uncomfortable and know that you can get where you want to be from where you are now.

Get ready for your own Project Happiness Dog as Training Partner by subscribing to the Healthy Living Wag Report... motivation, ideas, dog training, health, fitness... all for you to enjoy.  It starts with a thought...  and if you like this article in any way shape or form... Please retweet using the green button!

Monday, June 14, 2010

What You Do Every Day Counts & The Dog Too

What a difference thinking about and implementing one little statement makes.  The last few days the concept “What You Do Every Day Counts” keeps coming into play and I find the more I use it, the easier life has gotten for me... and of course for the dogs who live with me every day.

As part of Project Happiness Life with Dog as Training Partner this is one of the List of Seven Things - What you do EVERY DAY counts.... not what you do sometimes, or every once in awhile.  

Big Projects Get in The Way of Little Projects... or is it Little Projects Get in the Way of Big Projects?

I’m not really sure... what I do know is one of the two was stopping me from getting things done... or I should say in comparison to some... all the things I want to get done completed.  For instance.... I have a private dog training website that has become less than ideal.  The platform it is set up on pretty much sucks and the cost per month is ridiculous.  I mean way ridiculous, especially when one is looking to live a cash based lifestyle as one of their goals.

Why throw money away (actually quite a bit of money) on something that doesn’t really work right on a monthly basis?  In this case I can tell you it’s simply because the job seems to big to tackle.... and I keep telling myself that I’ll find “a block of time to get the whole thing done in”.

Yeah, right.  So far those kind of statements when I reflect back on them have never worked.  Yet I have continued to tell myself “I’ll get it done when I have a block of time when I can really concentrate on it”.  That must be why I have all these lists that have been put to the wayside to start another list, (just for today... after all, I’m going to get to the big project on the other list “when I have a block of time”).....

What You Do Every Day Counts

So... my Project Happiness Life with Dog as Training Partner was based off of the book The Happiness Project.... and since implementing many of the concepts in the book, things have changed in a big way for me.  Which is why I decided to apply it all to for those who have a dog in their life and are looking for the well trained lifestyle where you go out with the dog, get fit, have the dog be the coolest dog ever... and everyone wags more because of it.  (you can start your own Happiness Dog Project by subscribing to the Healthy Living Wag Report)....

I came to the major realization that the big block of time is never going to come.  And I decided I also do not want to be bogged down with these big projects always weighing on my mind.  Through all of my successes these are the things allowing my brain to be programed with undue stress... because I don’t have this done, that done or the other thing done... and the kicker thing is... it comes down usually to the big projects that get my head in this space.

Implement what you do every day counts and this is what happens.  I took the big projects I had and gave myself a little bit of time to work on them every day.  It’s amazing how just starting the project changed the whole motion of the incomplete...

And here I am... feeling good about a bunch of projects that I have been wanting to complete.... like moving the Private Dog Training Site (which I found out as I work through the project has some kickass stuff in it...) I create, get it going and then tend to discount the fact that I’ve got really good stuff in the quest to create more good stuff.

I think it’s probably true for everyone.  We are so programmed to look at what isn’t going right, or what we don’t have done... that all the cool things you actually do get done never get the due credit they should.

Moving the training site, finishing touches on more than one lifestyle with dog e-books, of course... my commitment to bringing Project Happiness Life with Dog as Training Partner to the lives of as many cool dog owners as possible... my fitness, I love my fitness and even someone like me can end up not getting out and getting it done in the quest for “the block of time”.....

All stuff I do every day..... and I’m finding I’m getting so much more done.  I’m so much more happy about it and we are all wagging more.

Life With Dog

How does it all pertain to life with the dogs?  The block of time theory is one that comes to mind when I think about so many of my clients who have come to me with the problem dog.

It’s usually one or two or maybe three behaviors that are driving the owner to such frustration they finally call me for help training the dog.  Yet, when it comes down to it, the concept of “I’ll fix this with the dog when I have time” comes into play for many owners when it comes to what they do with their dog every day.

For instance.... if you have a dog that constantly pulls on the leash... so much so that it is not fun to take the dog as your fitness training partner... ya know, that daily walk or run you have committed in your head to do.... but maybe haven’t implemented “What You Do Every Day Counts” method on it yet?....
This is one you can get done by implementing a couple of simple things to creating the picture your dog is going to stay by your side.  It’s a matter of doing it consistently and doing it every day.  Pulling is something that has become a habit... we tend to throw our hands up in the air and allow the buck em bronko type of walk or run with huge frustration to happen... instead of taking the small steps to replace this habit with not pulling.... in What You Do Every Day Counts....

    •    Never let your dog pull in front of you
    •    Stop, turn in another direction
    •    Make several turns quickly
    •    Mark the moment your dog is not pulling with reward...
                praise, treat, pet...
    •    You have to slow down to get change the habit
    •    Don’t try to keep moving in forward motion if your dog is pulling
    •    Dogs do what works.... if you don’t move forward when they pull,
                the pulling will stop
    •    Show your dog the place you want him or her to be... next to you...
                 not in front of you
    •    It takes patience
    •    It takes consistency
    •    It takes time

What You Do Every Day Counts and you’ll make progress much faster than you think by doing it every day.

Read Running with Two Dogs... even if you don’t have two dogs there are good tips that show turns and stops and starts to get your dog on the path to not pulling on the leash...

And you’ll be well on your way to What You Do Every Day Counts... not what you do some of the time... or sometimes... or every once in a while.

And one more thing... you’ll have accomplished more than one thing you want to do everyday by practicing this... it’s important.  The exerciserly thing for your fitness, your lifestyle and a well behaved balanced dog.

Wag More!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

One Minute Rule Makes For Well Trained You and Dog

As I cruise along here in the Project Happiness Life with Dog as Training Partner experience I’m finding some of the coolest little things that are changing for the better for me, and of course my dogs, in a big way.

For one thing, I was really really tired of being unorganized and pretty much have been my entire life.  I strive for organization and somehow end up more disorganized than ever.  There’s a good reason why my dog is my best friend as well though... my Weimaraner nor my Lab give one paw that things are not put in order!

Anyway, one of my list of 7 Things I Am is Creatively Organized.....

which means that I do want order in my life, I just need it all to be put together in a way that makes sense to me.  That means it needs to be somewhat colorful, and have the things I use the most look good where ever it is that I choose to put them away.  It might not be the rules everyone needs to fall under, but it is what works for me.  I’ve never been too good at staying inside the box.

I’ve always tried to attack doing this by getting organized all in one day.  I’d leave things for later because I was going to make a time to get EVERYTHING organized.  Big surprise I know... that big chunk of time never happened.  When I discovered the idea...

What you Do EVERY DAY counts not what you do sometimes....

and that’s where the one minute rule has really got me going in the direction I’ve been trying to get to for years.  I’m getting nicely organized in a very creative way! 

The One Minute Rule

The One Minute Rule is where if you see something and it will take less than a minute to get done you should do it right then.  Things like picking up my shoes.  Putting the dish that I just ate off of in dishwasher, throwing the laundry in the hamper instead of on the floor by the bed since I’m going to put them back on in the morning anyway... maybe.... which I don’t cause I like to wear new clothes everyday anyway.... deleting the junk e-mail, storing PDF’s, articles, downloads... you know important things where I can find them in the folder that would make sense instead of leaving it as an attachment on the e-mail and then doing a search through 10,000 e-mails to find it again when I need it.  Those types of things.... The One Minute Rule applies to.

So many little things I do now with the one minute rule in mind.  When I come inside from the car instead of putting the miscellaneous items I’ve taken for some outdoor adventure in a pile, I put them where they are supposed to go.  Even the dog leashes.  It takes less than a minute and the little messy piles are gone all the time now.  Good stuff.

Dogs and The One Minute Rule

So how would this pertain to life as a dog?  Well... many dogs are not able to hold a sit in the house, outside the house, by a table of food and certainly not in the midst of another dog in the area or person who appears to possibly be carrying a treat.  In all of these scenarios The One Minute Rule applied to teaching sit initially and then getting a dog to do it anywhere is an amazing trick as well.

The failure of most dogs that the words untrained, or badly trained, or not trained at all is simply the basics are not solid.  For dogs that means sit.

Telling a dog to sit and then not following through is a mistake done commonly and is a product of our unwillingness to take the less than one minute to put the dog back into a sit and make it a habit to start holding that sit longer and longer.... like a minute!

Put in those terms I’m sure there is more than one person that is guilty of letting the dog down by being too busy to help with a one minute sit.  That’s okay... I found that starting today is the best option.... and that what you do every day is what counts from now on.

Project Happiness Life with Dog as Training Partner

What are you doing to feel happier these days?  Especially with your dog?  Sign up for the Healthy Living Wag Report and get the latest on the creating your own project, dog friendly events, dog news and fitness and health as a lifestyle for you and your dog.

And don't forget to Eat Your Colors....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Feeling Good, Feeling Bad and Feeling Right. Life with Dogs.

As I continue to trek on with the Project Happiness Life with Dog as Training Partner experience I find that it really is about each moment of the day.

Take for instance the concept of feeling good, feeling bad and feeling right.

What happens when you wake up in the morning with things you need to get done and yet you feel bad?  It’s hard to get going.  And it is certainly hard to get going with any sort of finesse when you feel like that.

It’s precisely what happened to me today and due to this project I was able to figure a way out of it.

I felt bad when I got up.  Didn’t want to get anything done, didn’t feel like doing anything, and didn’t really feel like anyone cared whatever it was that I did.  But then I realized it was about each moment and started applying things like the One Minute Rule.  (you’ll find it in an upcoming post)

Feeling Good and Feeling Bad

It’s hard in the moments when you feel bad to make yourself feel good.  But what I’m finding is that with a bit of practice the feeling can be attained with just a little effort.

Thinking about those things that you do have in your life to make you feel good is the answer to this dilemma.  There are things, you just have to bring your mind to think about the good and quit focusing on whatever it is that is making you feel bad.

Think Like a Dog

Very simple answer to feeling good.  It’s every day that my two dogs get up wagging their tails in anticipation of what the day is going to bring.  It doesn’t even really matter if it’s the exact same thing that happened yesterday.... the thought of those fun moments is enough to wag for the day.

Ok.  Keeping that in mind I realized that I had the opportunity to go to the gym.  Run on the treadmill in my barefoot shoes.  It was the option instead of going out on the Rim Trail.  It’s unseasonably hot here in Taos, New Mexico and the dogs could get heat exhaustion due to lack of a cooling system.

Instead I came up with a great plan.  There’s a river right up the road so when I was done with the workout for today, I took my computer and headed up the road with the dogs.  They got to get out and run and get in the river.  I got to sit and get some work done on my computer in a very creative way.

That feels right.

So there you go.  The training lesson for today for you and the dog.  Feeling good, feeling bad and feeling right.

I started out feeling bad.  I focused on only those things that could make me feel good.  I lived the moment like my dogs.... wagging in anticipation of the next fun thing....
and now everything is feeling right.

Create your own Project Happiness Life with Dog As Training Partner.  It’s easy enough to click on the Healthy Living Wag Report and go for your fit, balance lifestyle with your dog as your most loyal training partner.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Life With Dog As Training Partner: Eat Your Colors

When I decided to do this Project Happiness: Life with Dog as Training Partner, I had it all planned in my head as usual.... I was going to make this the perfect blog yet. So of course, same thing happened. I’m trying to come up with the perfect post.

And then I realized, that is what this is all about. I’m good at things when I just jump in. Most people are. You are too. It’s an old habit I have. Especially about something that I want to become really good at.

I’ve always been one of those people that jumps in and sets out to be the best I can be in things. And because of that fact, as life has gone on, I’ve gotten good at fewer things because I want to be make it perfect to start out with.

How many times does one need to jump in and learn the lesson? The best time to start being good at what you want to be good at is by starting with something and moving forward with it every day.

So here it is. Where I am today on Project Happiness: Life with Dog As Training Partner.

One of my Seven Personal Things is Eat Good Food. It’s something that I’ve told myself I do a good job at most of the time. And the truth be known when I started keeping a food journal, or at least continuing to be very mindful of what I was eating, I realized that ate pretty much crap most of the time.

I read a book call Food Rules which absolutely rocked. I highly recommend it. It makes knowing what to eat easy and almost fun.

So once again I have found myself ordering a big cheeseburger with fries more than once in the last few days. Seriously? This goes in the category Eat Good Food? No. It’s just an old habit.

It’s amazing how one really needs to focus on what you want and how making a conscious choice can change so much about how you feel. I picked up Food Rules again and the rule that came to me was Eat Your Colors. Today, I had butternut squash soap and added chopped up fresh broccoli. It was actually really good and made me feel better immediately. What’s so hard about that? Nothing really so I’m already planning the next good-for-me meal.

And once again the book Food Rules which has these simple rules that are usually a short page to read got me seriously motivated again. (That’s what this article is meant to do for you too!)

Heading to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow. Going to get more colors of vegetables and fruit to add to my Eat Good Food.

Life with Dog

This Eat Good Food thing got me thinking about what color food dogs eat. I write about healthy dog food all the time and get some interesting responses from people. Yesterday one came in where this women didn’t think it was a good idea to recommend different food to dog owners, especially those who have dogs that easily get stomach upset from a change in food.

Oh my. Wasn’t that the point? Poor dogs eat the same preservative laden food every single day. The only color they might get is the artificial dies some of the big pet food companies put in the chunks of kibble designed to look “beneful”, but are really a product of... uh.... down right gross nasty ingredients designed for profit.

Back to Eat Your Colors for the dogs too.... lots of research later I feed them a healthy dry kibble and add things to it that are good for the dog too. Today’s color for the dogs.... a little squash soup with some broccoli dribbled over the kibble. They are happy. And they are healthy. *Note not all the food we humans eat are good for the dog so do your research there as well... for instance, grapes can be deadly for dogs.

Start your own Project Happiness: Life with Dog as Training Partner by signing up for the Healthy Living Wag Report.

Dogs are the greatest on earth for keeping a smile on their face and a wag of the tail going. Follow along and keep updated on ways to get out and have fun with your dog, your life, your health and your happiness by signing up for the Healthy Living Wag Report!

Wag More!

©Jt Clough & K9 Coach Inc, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Running with Dogs - iPhone Apps

As the winter wears on and the resolution to lose weight and get fit seem to become shiny bits of an idea that are harder and harder to grab, its important to find the motivation to stay with it. K9 Coach, Inc. is committed to ideas and inspiration to keep you out there running or walking with the dog.

Your dog can be motivation in itself. Just the thought of that wagging tail and the positive change in behavior a little run can do for your dog is enough to remind some to go out for 30 minutes and get some exercise.

Sometimes it takes having that cool gadget and a little push from someone else to keep you on track to a healthier and fit lifestyle. That's where iPhone apps and a training program written for you and your dog can make all the difference in the world.

Its true that a training partner can help you stay motivated. Planning to run a dog friendly 5K puts that goal out there giving you something to aim for.  A training program written for you and your dog helps with direction and knowing exactly how to stay on course. Especially if running, walking or signing up for a 5K are new to you.

And then of course cool gadgets can really help. As superficial as that might sound, it is a great way to keep yourself motivated. And these days you can even do that on the cheap.

Take for instance the iPhone app called Runmeter. A way cool fun thing for your walking or running program. You can record your time, location, distance, elevation, and pace. It can help you visualize and keep your goal attainable by seeing your results on maps, graphs, and calendars, organized by routes and activities. Know how much distance you've run by day, week, month, and year.

You can even share your training by sending Google Map links of your runs and routes using email or Twitter. During your run, hear tweets from family, coaches, and friends spoken using text-to-speech technology. Its motivating and keeps you going.

Get your dog and go for it. Find a dog friendly 5K race to sign up for, get your Canine Cross Training Program, and have some fun with an iPhone app all for less than the cost of a month at most gyms!

Your dog will love you. You will love you... and the fitness and health benefits for you both are more than attractive to all of those around you.

Wag more.

©Jt Clough and K9 Coach, Inc.

Dog Blog Web Fitness Training

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dog Food Recall - FDA Health Alert

January 14, 2010 - FDA Health Alert for Merrick Beef Filet Squares Dog Treats Packaged and Distributed by Merrick Pet Care
Products may be contaminated with Salmonella

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Merrick Beef Filet Squares for dogs distributed by Merrick Pet Care with a package date of “Best By 111911” because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The attention to dog health care is on the rise. As we look at our own health and fitness the trend is towards prevention and staying healthy with exercise and diet rather than seeking treatment after the damage has been done.

You are what you eat is true for dogs too. Not all premium commercial dog food marketed as organic are in fact what the packaging lets us imagine. It up to dog owners to do our due diligence in researching what the food we choose to feed our dogs is made up of.

Do You Really Know What’s In Your Pets Food?

A healthy diet for your dog should include protein and carbohydrates. Its important to know where those components come from type of ingredient to the way it is processed.

Watch this video Do You Really Know What’s In Your Pets Food for more information.

How would you feel physically if you ate the same exact thing every day without access to any whole vegetables, fruits or meat?

A healthy diet for your dog can include these foods: chicken, beef, fish, eggs, broccoli, peas, carrots and squash.  Don’t be afraid to give your dog some “real” food along with a kibble diet. Adding these unprocessed foods to your dog’s healthy dog food diet provides antioxidants and are all great thing for canine immune systems. There are certain whole foods that are not suitable for your dog but adding a little meat or vegetables to your dog’s diet will enhance the nutrition many fold compared to only feeding dry kibble.

Fitness and nutrition bring more wag to you and the dog. Go out and have some fun at a dog friendly event, and eat whole foods. You and your dog. Wag.

©Jt Clough and K9 Coach, Inc. 2010

Dog Blog Web Fitness Training

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Running with Your Dog in Cold Weather

Running is one of the fastest, easiest ways to attain fitness or weight loss.  For most that means going outside.  The excuse, “its too cold”, can be tempting but here are some tips to help you and your dog run in the cold weather.

First, your dog is definitely not going to heed to the excuse “its too cold”.  Doesn’t matter what the temperature most dogs are up for an outing.  So, use that wag of excitement as inspiration to go out out and get a run in anyway.

When is it too cold for your dog to run with you?  The simple answer to that question is if its too cold for you, its too cold for the dog.  Its easy to get confused on that question though so be aware when you are making the choice “its too cold” versus “I don’t feel like it and the temperature is colder than I’d like it to be.”  Thats called an excuse.

Take note that wind is an element to consider.  Wind chill factors can dip fast so if you are looking for a legitimate excuse “its too cold”, the wind will work to hold that statement up.  Look for a day when you don’t have to brave your way through gale wind storm.

One way to making cold weather running fun for you is to get some gear that not only makes you look really cool but these days the fabrics are made to keep heat in, shed perspiration and are lightweight.  This is true for the dog as well and depending on your dog’s natural fur coat there are options for winter time gear for your dog as well. Upscale Dog Supplies has great dog cold weather running apparel.

Dogs with undercoats like collies, labs, huskies and shepherds tend to stay warmer and aren’t as affected by the elements.  Dogs with single coats like Weimarners, Vizslas, Papillons and Pit Bulls could certainly use a dog coat to help keep the heat in during cold weather conditions.

If you are running with your dog in temperatures below freezing as we have been here in Taos, NM where we are spending a couple months training this winter, its best to keep moving.  That’s good advice for you and the dog.  Movement creates heat and running while its 20 degrees out with the right clothes on for you and the dog makes all the difference.  In fact you could find yourself actually feeling warm in these conditions.

Its when you stop that you’ll find the chill factor setting in.  Keep moving and plan your run so that you can go inside when you and the dog complete the route or you are able to get in a car you can heat up quickly right after the run.

Even though it’s cold you will still lose hydration during a winter time run so make sure to hydrate, and of course this is true for your dog too.

Finding motivation to run in the winter may take a bit more inspiration.  A 5k or 10K race, even one that is dog friendly, may be the answer to keep you motivated.  A training program written for you and your dog to follow has proven to be a factor of successfully staying fit during the winter.

Most dogs are in need of an active lifestyle.  Amazingly enough that is true for humans as well.  Go outside.  Have some fun.  Take the dog.  Drink water.  Wag more.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dog Fat? You Might Be Too.

Yikes. A statement most people just don’t want to hear. Never the less, our dogs tend to be a very serious reflection of ourselves and it may be time to wake up and start moving the paws.

As a professional dog trainer the tendency for behavior to to be reflected back and forth between dog and owner is high. A fear aggressive dog many times has an owner who underneath it all has the same behavior. Humans are able to hide it and act appropriate in front of others while dogs don’t have the filter and can’t understand why everyone is looking at them with that “unacceptable behavior” look on their face.

A dog just doesn’t get that its not OK to act that way in public. They wear who they are right out their on their paws for everyone to see.

Same goes with the fitness truth or consequences. Is it the outfit or is it fat? Again, no hiding the truth, its right out there for everyone to see when it comes to the dog. Still as humans we tend to ignore the reflection in the mirror and it takes your very cool dog trainer, dog walker or holistic veterinarian to come out with a statement like, “your dog has a few extra pounds and really should lose a little weight.” i.e. a nice way to say “your dog is fat!”

Again, with humans we tend to try our best to try and hide this and we make it easy on ourselves because your don’t have someone like a dog walker that walks with you everyday saying flat out to you, “I think you look a little fat!”

So its up to us to take a look at the reflection of ourselves objectively and decide it is in fact time to commit to getting fit by finding a fun way to induce weight loss. Don’t wait for the husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend to buck up and admit they’d like wear their emotions on their sleeve like the dog does and say it straight out to your face. Probably won’t happen until its time for serious behavior modification.

The good news is getting fit is getting easier when a loyal training partner joins your quest for improved health. Fitness programs that include your dog as your motivation to get out and do a routine regularly are on the rise. The even better news. It’s working for people.

A Canine Cross Training program created by K9 Coach, Inc in San Diego, CA already has participants making comments about how in a short period of time while training with the dog, “the designer jeans that were really expensive and had become really uncomfortable, suddenly have become that comfortable pair they want to put on.”

Good stuff. Dogs motivate many to get active and stay active. While this is a huge benefit for us humans, dogs also benefit from the routine with a built in dog training regime at the same time.

Follow more tips on fitness, health and training tips... all with the dog by clicking the the graphic below...
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Jt Clough is a professional dog trainer who has studied and applied how to create a balanced life through calm dog training techniques with her long time commitment to health and fitness. Clough, a finisher of 9 Ironmans among many other fitness accomplishments, along with her life partner Gary Guller who has reached the summit of Mt. Everest, bring inspiration to others for developing a lifestyle that include health, fitness and a balanced way of being.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Training Companions: Running with Dogs

Studies show that training with a companion, training partner, buddy... whatever you want to call it increases your chances of sticking with an exercise program more than two fold.  So why not pick a training companion you know you can count on?  Your dog is always ready to go, on your schedule and happy to be your best supporter every single day.

That being said there are a few considerations to take into account when choosing your dog as your running partner.

As with you, make sure that your dog is healthy and physically able to run with you.  A check at the vet is recommended.  Holistic veterinarians are always on the side of health versus medication and exercise is an area they know well.

Puppies and dogs less than a year old are still forming bones and ligaments so make sure to refrain from a full training regime.  Don’t confuse that statement with get no exercise for your young dog.  This can also turn out to be bad for development and behavioral problems.  Just don’t plan on making the puppy a running partner until after reaching a year old.

There are dogs better built for running than others.  The list is long and many times the combined traits of a mixed breed dog are ideal for running.  A few breeds that are most excellent as running partners are:

Labrador Retriever
Australian Shepherd
Portuguese Water Dog
German Short Haired Pointer
Golden Retriever
Standard Poodle
German Shepherd Dog
Belgian Malinois
Rhodesian Ridgeback

You can find many more breeds and information about dogs that make great running partners at

Acclimation is key to gaining fitness and avoiding injury.  Make sure to start your dog off like you would start yourself in a new program.  Start with shorter runs and gradually increase your distance.

More is not always better, especially in the beginning.  Long time runners coming back to the game sometimes go with the 1 mile, 2 mile, 10 mile program.  If your dog is new to running “muscle memory” is simply not there.  Do the gradual build up and you’ll have a running partner in time that will always be willing to go the distance and be completely healthy doing it.

Trails are a better option to run long term for you and the dog.  Pavement can be very jarring and the joints and ligaments do much better with the give of trials and soft surfaces.  Check your dog’s paws frequently especially early on in a new training program for cuts, scrapes, or cracks and make sure to keep the nails trimmed.  Dog boots are a great option if you are acclimating your dog to new terrain.

Use common sense regarding time of day you take your dog running.  During warm weather the morning or late evening is best.  Cold weather on the other hand may require that you let the day warm up a bit before hitting the daily running route.  For those dogs that don’t have a lot of extra fur or aren’t acclimated to the cold, providing a dog coat has become a very stylish option to keep your dog warm.
Upscale Dog Supplies

Hydration is a huge factor for you and your dog.  To feel good hydration is a must.  Dogs sweat differently than we do, with moisture leaving their bodies through their nose, tongue and paw pads. Ignoring the signs of dehydration early on is easy since the physical signs of sweating are absent.  Make sure to bring water for you and the dog.

No matter how much you train or exercise if your nutrition is bad you still are dealing with health issues.  Make sure to feed your dog a holistic balanced dog food.  The type of food and the amount are as important as a consistent exercise program.

For more dog running tips and canine cross training programs subscribe to Dog Blog Web Fitness Training below.
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©Jt Clough and K9 Coach, Inc. 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Idita-Walk - Fitness for You Fitness for Your Dog

Go Train Your Dog and Yourself.  Get fit.  Get balanced.  Get wagged.

The Idita-Walk is an event to promote physical fitness in the spirit of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

Most dog owners know about the Iditarod and have an appreciation for it simply in the spirit of the amazing physical accomplishments as well as emotional ties we have to our dogs and their abilities.

The thought of being able to join in or even go watch usually exists in our heads as one of those “it would be fun” statements but the possibility really isn’t there.  Both from a logistical standpoint and a dog breed technicality, participating leaves us out of this event.  A Weimaraner gets a bit cold with no coat and the Labrador raised in San Diego might not be acclimated for the Alaska event!

The Idita-Walk allows anyone to join in from anywhere 
with any dog breed, big or or small!  Cool.  Wag.

The Idita-Walk is an event to promote physical fitness in the spirit of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.  The Iditarod Sled Dog Race is 1049 miles long from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.  To complete the Idita-Walk, simply walk 30 minutes a day for 35 days between February 1, 2010 to March 31, 2010 for a total of 1049 minutes Any combination of minutes will work - just reach 1049 during the 59 day event!

You can even count running or jogging!  For those of you who have signed up for Canine Cross Training and are getting your personal walking, jogging or running workouts sent to you weekly its even easier.  If you aren’t in this program seriously take a look at it.

A fitness program that doesn’t require a gym or to go out and meet someone at another location is much easier to succeed with our busy lives and lack of time.  Your dog as your most loyal training partner means you can stay on this fitness program AND you get a personal coach inspiring you with what to do each day on a weekly basis.

In the new decade of 2010 the trend is to Escape Modern Day Stresses and "Return to Sacred Places".  What a great way to jump on the trend.

Register for the Idita-Walk here.

Register for Canine Cross Training here. 

Register for other Dog Friendly Events here.

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Go out and have some fun with your dog.  Get fit, get balance in your life, your dog’s life, and wag more!
©Jt Clough and K9 Coach, Inc. 2010

Dog Blog Web Fitness Training

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Fast & Furriest K9 3K Fun Run Walk

San Diego Dog Friendly Event

What: The Fast & The Furriest K9 3K Fun/ Run/ Walk

When: Saturday March 27, 2010 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Where: Downtown Harbor Front

Details: San Diegans take pride in staying fit and many local Dog-lovers choose to exercise with their pooches when they can. With that in mind, is hosting a unique dog-friendly 3k (1.8 miles) Fun/ Run/ Walk to benefit local animal charities.

  • All breeds ages and sizes can participate
  • Each registration will benefit a local animal charity of your choice- $5 of every $30 entry will go to designated charity
  • Human participants will receive a limited edition t-shirt (red with logo) & "doggie bag"
  • Limited edition shirts available for canine paw-ticipants as well
  • Course will end at our special "Canine Carnival" which will include booths for most major breed clubs and meetups

Now's the time to start getting your "Team in Training" together. So why not organize a team with your neighbors, Meetup and/ or Yappy Hour group?

Registration: $30.00 to participate. *Must be registered 3/18/10 to receive your Pup Crawl t-shirt. Day-of registrations will cost $35 and shirts are not guaranteed.

It is that time again.  Time to focus on getting some fitness back in your life.

This is a great dog friendly event in San Diego to put on your calendar an in inspiration to go out and have some fun with your dog while your both get fit.

The chances of your fitness program working go way up when you have a workout partner you can rely on.  Your dog is that perfect partner.

A training plan written out for you also increases your chances of enjoying it and knowing what to do.

Canine Cross Training:  5K Training Plan

San Diego Dog Training Camps & Private Coaching 

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dog Owners More Likely To Maintain Exercise Program

The food eating frenzy is over.  With the passing of New Year’s Day, the food-fests go with it.  From Thanksgiving to New Year’s everything seems to be planned around parties with food that’s very tasty but is now being worn around our bellies.

The time has come.  Good news for dog owners when it comes to this subject.  Studies show that people who own dogs are much more likely to get started on an exercise program.

The even better news and the big surprise to researchers.... studies also show that people who started an exercise program with their dog show big improvement while those who started similar programs without dogs began making excuses, showing little improvement. 

Another interesting fact was the speed of walking, jogging, or running increased by 28% for those training with dogs versus those without a dog with only a 4% increase.  Not that it is the most important thing on the agenda but it does make one feel like they are really doing something when the pace picks up on a natural basis.

Even so, we all tend to need a little added motivation when it comes to starting a program.  Walking or running is the easiest to get into, and for the most part the most effective.  Joining a gym which many do right after the first of the year feels like motivation but more often than not becomes overwhelming.

A gym can be intimidating and feeling like you “belong” doesn’t come easy.  The failure rate is high due to feeling like you don’t know what you are doing.  Again, a walking or running program you can do without the scrutiny of long time gym members eyes.

Having something other than weight loss or getting fit to focus on helps immensely with motivation.  Your dog as your training partner can be a big inspiration as well.  After all, you can rely on your dog to show up every single time.  A training partner increases your chances of success greatly.

A training plan written out for you increases your chances of enjoying the exercise,  knowing what to do and how to do it safely.  Give yourself something to focus on while you are establishing your exercise, diet and nutrition routine.  Stick with your new plan plan by signing up for our Canine Cross Training: Running your 1st 5K! 

Even if signing up for the 5K or 10K isn’t in your list of things you really want to do, having a training plan clearly written out for you and the assistance of your reliable dog training partner will get you to the ultimate goal:  fitness, weight loss, and a healthy you.

So get your dog and get started.  There is no more time to waste in the game of life.  Health and fitness are the foundation to everything else.  Get your dog, get your training plan and get started today.

*Note about the author:  Jt Clough is a professional dog trainer who has studied and applied how to create a balanced life through calm dog training techniques with her long time commitment to health and fitness.  A finisher of 9 Ironmans among many other fitness accomplishments along with her life partner Gary Guller who has reached the summit of Mt. Everest, bringing inspiration to others for a lifestyle that includes health and fitness is giving back to the world all the joys it has given.

San Diego Dog Training Camps & Private Coaching

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©Jt Clough and K9 Coach, Inc. 2010