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They say an old dog can’t learn new tricks, but sometimes, young dogs have problem learning them too. So what happens when your pup doesn’t make it to their obedience school graduation? Try, try and try again.

WomensForum spoke with Emily Jay, the owner of Sharpie’s Place Dog Training, about what you need to know before enrolling your dog in their second round of obedience training.

According to Jay, the first step is to figure out what went wrong the first time.

“Figure out what problems the dog has and why they failed,” says Jay. “Work on those problems first to build up to better obedience.”

Once you know what your dog needs to work on, consistency is key.

“Work on it everyday,” says Jay. “Take five to 10 minutes out of your day, two to three times a day to train your dog. It will help them realize they have to do this stuff, it’s just not an option.”

Once your dog has a solid foundation of what’s expected of them, it’ll be easier for them to learn more commands and behaviors, even if it is for the second or third time around.

Positive reinforcement can also help your dog retain their training, according to Jay.

“Give a treat, not every time but once in awhile, to keep them happy,” says Jay. “They also like when you use a high pitched voice, pet them, telll them good job, good sit, good whatever they did.

Jay also stressed the importance of always be positive while training your pet and never yelling at them.

“Dogs definitely pick up on how you’re feeling.” - Emily Jay

Similarly, Jay says it’s important of correcting your dog’s behavior only when you catch them in the act.

“If you don’t catch them in the act, they don’t know that they did anything wrong,” says Jay. “So if you’re yelling at them, they don’t know what they did…it’s a common mistake and it could make them more aggressive, it could make them afraid of you.”

Jay says that there’s hope even for the most stubborn of dogs. They just need a little extra work.

“You just need to be even more consistent,” says Jay. “Work with the dog more often, because they think it’s just an option and they don’t have to do it but if you stay consistent with it they’ll eventually learn.”

Jay has seen many success stories, even with older dogs who have been through obedience school a time or two already.

“I trained a dog that was 6-years-old and had terrible anxiety,” says Jay. “It took work, but eventually the dog was perfectly well trained and loved to listen to its owners.”

So there you have it, no dog is a lost cause. With just a little consistency and hard work, your precious pup will be walking across the graduation stage in no time. 

Dogs, cats, hamsters and goldfish are all easier to care for than ferrets. In fact, a toddler is even easier to care for but my two crazy ferrets are worth it. I am not just a pet owner, I’m a ferret parent; a “ferrant,” if you will. Whenever I tell people I have two ferrets, they seem pretty surprised. While they’re probably not the most popular pet choice, they hands down should be! 

ferret

If you’re looking to buy a ferret, here are few suggestions: 

  • Consider buying two. They are needy animals and if you have two, they can interact with each other. 
  • Look into adopting a ferret instead of buying one from a pet shop. There are adoption locations, just like adoption centers for dogs and cats. 
  • Make sure they are fixed, especially if you get a boy and girl. 
  • If you don’t have the time, don’t get a ferret. They are caged animals but need at least 1-2 hours of playtime per day.  
  • You have to stay on top of cleaning because they go potty a lot. And I mean a lot. 
  • Don’t get creative with their feeding. No table food. They can’t properly digest anything but their food, which is all meat since they are carnivores. 
  • They can easily be trained, if you have the patience. I’ve potty trained both of my ferrets so they only go to the bathroom in a litter box. 

These small animals may not be for everyone and that's okay! My two furry babies are quite insane but I am totally in love with them. Except for when they steal my shoes or car keys and hide them. They’re hoarders by nature and have made me late for plenty of appointments. 

Before you adopt or buy a ferret make sure you do you're research and are prepared for these sweet and energetic little pets!

16945-cat-bowl-main

Dear Humans,

You’ve been pretty lucky. We’ve been building you the perfect guide to living a purr-fect life. Oh yes, we say purr-fect because cats know how to live the good life! You’ve learned how to unwind from your whirlwinded life and how to get more play in your daily activities.

Now that you can unwind and play more, we’re eager to share the most delicious of tips: how you can feast like felines and truly enjoy what’s on your plate.

Humans are pretty busy creatures, constantly on the go and tackling a lot in a 24-hour period. This usually leads to people not having much time to truly enjoy their meals and savor food without distraction. We humorously call those who do this “shovelers” because well, that’s what ends up happening!

16945-morris-catPhoto Credit: Big Heart Pet Brands

It’s ok, though. We’ve learned from the best on how to focus on our food and truly enjoy it. Morris of 9Lives® cat food is a great example of how you can live well and turn distracted dining into feline fine dining.

Humans, take note. 

Slow Down And Enjoy Everyday Simple Pleasures

Day to day, you’ll be faced with a lot of choices: how to dress, what errands to tackle, and of course what you’ll eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now, some tasks and to-dos on your list may not seem that eventful and hey, that’s totally fine! Doing laundry is not meant to be the highlight of your day.

16945-cats-eatingBut when you go out to eat or make a meal at home, it is the purr-fect time for you to be more like Morris and relish those everyday pleasures. For cats, this could be taking a sweet nap after enjoying a delicious meal, something like 9Lives Daily Essentials Dry Cat Food® or even something scrumptious like 9Lives Meaty Paté Super Supper® wet cat food. It's just like the way it should be for humans. These foods taste great, have good nutrition, and help support heart health, clear vision, strong muscles, and a healthy skin and coat.

Cats would never deny themselves pleasure while eating, and neither should you! So maybe for you, this could be having a much-needed and enjoyable conversation with a friend over lunch or spending time with a loved one over a hearty, heart-warming dinner. In the chaos that is daily human life, it’s so important to set time aside to just be and enjoy being in the moment.

4 Fast Benefits To Slowing Down

  • Enjoy Your Food: When you get tasty food to enjoy, why rush the experience? If you choose something for its tastiness, it is meant  to be tasted. Plus when you savor each bite, you may notice you feel full faster! Feel happy, full and enjoy what's on your plate!
  • Better Digestion: Digestion actually starts in the mouth. Eating slower helps you chew your food, which leads to better digestion. The less your stomach has to work to break down food, the better!
  • No Stress: Taking time at the table to enjoy a meal provides some time for mindfulness and relaxation. Rushing through means you don't get a break from the chaos, and everyone  deserves a break.
  • Less Fast Food, More Quality Meals: Eating too fast often means choosing a quick meal over a substantial one. When stressed, anxious and in a hurry, fast food seems like the best option. Rebel against the quick-eats lifestyle and you'll find yourself with much better food on your plate. 

So put down the phone, you don't see cats making calls or checking news feeds. Your meal is meant to be appreciated. When you feast, don't rush, but instead jump on the chance to relax, enjoy and live well! 

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