Online Dog Trends: Trainer approved.

Putting eggs in our dog’s mouth, dressing them up for Halloween, pretending to step over a “force field” that doesn’t exist, and making our dogs pose for a funny picture with our toddler is social media gold. All your friends are going comment about how funny it is or how their dog would never do that. You might even get a full-on belly laugh out of it.

Let’s take a step back. How do you think your dog feels?

We bring dogs into our homes. Using the help of dog trainers we teach them what items to chew, and where to pee. Dogs don’t get a choice in the food they receive, barking is not welcomed, humping is inappropriate, they learn how to play bite to your preferred level and let’s not get into what we do to their genitals.

This is a lot to put on our dogs already, they are so much more understanding than we give them credit for. At the end of the day we need to realize that we might find them adorable, sweet, kind and understanding but when we stick an egg in their mouth for a couple of “wow” emoji’s on our Facebook page, we are the biggest weirdo’s they’ve ever met.

The biggest issue here isn’t that these things make your dog uncomfortable, it’s that we have options to enrich our dogs lives and achieve the sacred “wow” emoji all at the same time and we don’t take advantage of it.

Here’s 3 online dog trends that are fun for you and your dog.

1.) Teach a new trick. There are tons of tutorials online that show you step by step how to clicker train your dog how to “say their prayers”, turn off the lights, spin and much more. Once your dog has learned, film it and put it up. Any dog can put on a Yoda costume but how much cooler is your dog for standing on their hind legs when you hold your hand out in the Vader chokehold pose?

2.) Hide treats throughout your house and watch your dog find them. Take your dog’s regular kibble or some delicious treats and hide them under pillows, in corners and under blankets. Let your dog into the room with the hidden treats and watch as your dog becomes the most adorable detective the internet has ever seen!

3.) Film a video of your dog using just a picture, I used pictures of my sisters dogs to make her think we threw a crazy party while she was away. One of my favorite apps to use is called My Talking Pet. It’s the best $.99 you’ll ever spend. Using a picture of your dog you identify where their mouth and eyes are, record yourself saying whatever you want, change the pitch of your voice and let the app put it all together. You can even string together conversations between your dogs using this app and a little editing.

There are so many options to make our dogs happy while still being the coolest kid in the virtual world. So, what are you doing reading this? You go out there and make quality viral material and make sure to give me a shout out when you get your 15 minutes of fame on Ellen.

Samantha Brown, Victoria Stilwell Graduate

Sam graduated with Distinction from the Victoria Stilwell Dog Training Academy.  While completing her studies she mentored under Tara. She is a Fear Free Certified Professional and is continuing to seek other ways to expand her knowledge base. Her background as a professional comedian compliments her skills as a trainer.  She volunteers at the local shelter and specializes in day training, kitty kindergarten, and class creation.


Rotate Toys for Enrichment

At our home we have a trash bag full of old toys.  They were once new and fun and worth their weight in gold. Each could easily buy me 30 minutes of alone time when I wanted to get some work done.  The dogs not wanting yet to risk that I might put it away, they would go off and squeak intently in another room.  As time passed these beautiful, fun, squeaky, silly looking stuffed toys became boring.  Dogs no longer grabbing them and running around squeaking with glee.  My hard earned money no longer valuable in the form of a toy.  So around the house I went collecting each in a great big trash bag with all the furry brows wrinkling up and the soft eyes glaring as if to say, “DON’T YOU DARE THROW THOSE AWAY.”

I did not intend to throw them away, but needed these spoiled little furry family members to learn… these toys are still FUN! So…

I got out a much smaller toy box and filled it with a few brand new toys…


But soon they got old and lay around just like the others did in the far off corners and hidden areas of the home…


And so I sneakily, picked up all the forgotten toys and even the one left in the toy box from last night’s pick up…


Went back to the trash bag full of toys…


Grabbed several old toys and placed them in the toy box… and then…

This went on for several minutes until one decided it was time to show me their “new” toy…

The moral of the story is this…


To enrich your dog’s life, you don’t need to buy new toys all the time.  Just change them out often.  I personally like to rotate the toys about every three or four days.  We have a lot of toys.  I put a new one in the bunch every couple of weeks to a month.  Just like us, dogs need variety.  Could you imagine watching the same episode of a show over and over again?