Space is EVERYTHING

Think about this for a moment. How comfortable are you when someone is in your “bubble?” You know, that invisible space around you that you consider your own. Some people consider their space needs wider than others, depending on their own comfort level.

When I traveled to Europe in college, I quickly realized even when talking to people that the culture plays a part in the “respected space.” Americas, well, we we require more. I typically stand about 3 feet from someone when I talk to a friend or in a professional setting, sometimes a little more space than that. When my kids though, they are welcome in my bubble space with their hugs and kisses.

Why would dogs be much different? We both have a “private space rule.” If you were unaware of this let me inform you now and if you have children, this is a great thing to teach them as well!

Rule Number 1:

Dogs that don’t know you don’t want hugs and kisses. Seriously, you just met… at least buy her lunch 😉

Rule Number 2:

If you are walking close to an unknown dog then do a slight arc. What?! As humans we are lateral. Just take a glance at our sidewalks. In the dog world, walking directly toward another dog is a threat. So as you are walking toward or past another dog, slightly arc around him.

Rule Number 3: 

When I meet a new dog, I don’t pet, talk to, or touch. I usually stand and talk to the owner, ignoring the dog. I allow him to sniff me. So, let him move to you. Let him sniff you. And don’t look him in the eyes (no long romantic gaze needed!), just ignore him until he looks more comfortable and relaxed.

There you have it. The simple space rules with dogs. What has been your experience? Share it with us in comments below!

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BLOG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE HUNTTING
BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.
CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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Dog Life Lesson: In the Moment

I think that there are two core things that dogs were sent to teach us humans: heart centeredness – a simple four letter word- LOVE and to teach us to stay in the moment. I am not sure if it’s just our  day and age or if it’s something mankind has struggled with for ages, but we are either in the future worrying about it, waiting for it, or hoping for it or we are in the past upset over it, living in pain from it, or obsessing about it. If we are in either we are not fully present in the moment.

Truth is, this moment is all that we have. In this moment you have everything you need and dogs teach us that.

One of the exercises that I do on a weekly basis with my students is leash walking. It’s human nature while we are out on a walk we are either on our phone, thinking about the bill that’s due, the un-ending list of to-dos, or maybe thinking about an argument shared with a spouse an hour before the walk.

While working on polite leash walking exercises with your dog, you are continually forced to stay in the moment, asking yourself “Is my dog pulling?” I am guilty, like all humans of getting lost in the moment myself! I have gotten lost in thought and realized 5 minutes later that my dog had been pulling!

Learn from your dog, and maybe even practice with leash walking by staying in the moment because the truth is all you have is this second right now. Or how about trying to stop what you are doing and sit with this moment for just one minute? Maybe spend it petting your dog, but while you are petting him/her don’t look at your phone and don’t think of anything but your dog. How it feels to pet him? How he is breathing and your own breath?

Living in the moment will change your life and it is for sure something that we can all work on. What has been your experiences with living in the moment? Has your dog taught you anything about this? Please share in comments below.

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BLOG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE HUNTTING
BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.
COME CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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DIY Dog: Peanut Butter Pumpkin Treats

A yummy fall treat that you can whip up in 15 minutes!

This Recipe Calls for:

2 Eggs
2/3 Cup Canned Pumpkin
2 1/2 cups flour
3 Teaspoons peanut butter

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and move the dough onto a floured surface. Either roll out and use a cookie cutter or create flat rounds by hand. Move the cookies to a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. If you want the treats to be a little more crunchy you can leave in a bit longer.

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BLOG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE HUNTTING
BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.
COME CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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Young Living Oils for Dogs?

Yes! I have been personally using Young Living Oils on myself, my children, and my dogs for several years now. I can say with confidence- they work well!

For dogs specifically I will use oils many times for behavioral cases where the dog just needs a little extra help. Here are some of my favorites:

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Peace & Calming

Peace & Calming® essential oil is a a blend of Ylang Ylang, Orange, Tangerine, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy.

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Valor

Is a blend of Black Spruce, Blue Tansy, Rosewood, and Frankincense.

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Lavender

How do you use it? For dog’s that need a little more calming, I like to put a drop or two on the collar on the neck between the dog’s ears. I apply twice daily. It is also effective defused into the air.

Young Living is different than other companies.  They have very high standards for the purity of their oils. They do this by monitoring the production of the oils from the seeds through the process of being sealed in the bottle. Other companies don’t promise this. In fact, some companies use many chemicals in their oil, but this is not the case with Young Living.

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BLOG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE HUNTTING
BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.
COME CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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Kids and Dogs: Shake

What you will need:

Handful of treats (We used Dr. Harvey’s Coconut Smiles)
A Dog 
And your kids (and if you don’t have any- well you’ve just got a great trick)

Instructions

1.Cue your dog to sit.

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2.Take his paw in your hand and move it up and down. As you are moving it up and down say “shake.” You may have to help your child, depending on age. My son, Anthony, is teaching Boy “shake” today. He is five and needed a little assistance. 

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3.Deliver a treat. My son is more comfortable with putting the treats on the floor in front of the dog and that’s okay. Other children will be comfortable handing the dog a treat. And if you couldn’t tell, Boy sure does love his Coconut Smile treats! Yum yum!

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4.Continue to repeat this in 1 minute sessions for the next few days.

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5. On third day of training, hold out your hand and say “shake.” See what your dog does. If he puts his paw in your hand, he’s got it! Praise and deliver a treat. Repeat this for several sessions.

Let us know how it goes for you and your dog! What do your kids enjoy best about teaching shake or other tricks?

PS. If you want to try out Boy’s favorite treat, save 10% by using code: MH117

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BLOG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE HUNTTING
BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.
COME CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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Dog Life Lesson: Stop and Look at Me!

Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something either from my own pets or ones I am training. Either I learn a new way to solve a problem behavior, a new way to tweak my own training programs, or even sometimes I am lucky enough to walk away with a life lesson. A life lesson is a nugget of dog wisdom that I get to keep treasured in my heart forever.

When I was in my early 20’s I owned a pet shop. What a lucky girl I was to be living my dream at such an early age. I LOVED it. Some parts were very stressful, while others a pure joy. What I do remember fondly is driving to work every day thinking about how much I enjoyed what I did.

Unfortunately, I was working so many hours during that time of my life that I barely had time to sleep or anything other than work. I may have on average gotten about four hours of sleep a night (crazy girl!).

The reason I was thinking back on this time was one night in particular that I learned from dog wisdom.

It was late. I dragged myself from the garage to the backdoor of the house. As I walked in to the door my dogs were excited to see me. Okay, they were going nuts. When I walked in to my house, my mind was already focused on the next set of 20 things to do on my list. I walked straight in and inspite of the greeting I just patted everyone on the head and continued working my way through the house. Out of my four dogs, I “heard” my dog Morgan say, “Look at me.” I patted her quickly on the head again and quickly went to move through the kitchen. Very forceful she said, “No! Stop and look at me!” (Let me also insert that I don’t normally “hear” dogs, but Morgan and I always had a heart to heart connection where I could almost “hear” her thoughts at times.)  I didn’t dare budge. I looked down at my beautiful dog and we connected our eyes.

At that point, I stopped everything and sat down with her and realized in that moment, that I hadn’t given my dogs what they deserved from me. I had been so busy that I was “with” my dogs without really being “with” my dogs. I was focused on to-do’s, tasks that would come and go, but that moment with my dogs would never be had again.  There will always be something to do, but that moment will not always be. 

Although, not perfect, I learned a lot in that moment with Morgan. From that moment on, when I sit down to have coffee with a friend I stop and look at them. I am not on my phone, thinking about something other than my friend. When I sit with my kids, I clear that moment for them. Always take time to enjoy those moments and learn from Morgan as did I: “No, really, stop and look at me.”

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BLOG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE HUNTTING
BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.
COME CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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