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Introductory Dog Training Tips

The idea of training your dog, especially if it’s your first dog, can feel extremely daunting at first. If you take it one step at a time, it may feel less intimidating and become more enjoyable. The act of training strengthens the bond between you and your canine to create a life-long relationship. Here are some tips to help get you started in your initial training of your puppy or older dog.

Nugget loves his toy bone!
  1. In general, many dog’s mental abilities are similar to a human child aged 2 to 2.5 years old. With this consideration, it is important to adjust your expectations when training. It may take some time for your dog to understand the command that you are teaching them
  2. Do your best to maintain a positive attitude. Your dog will recognize when you are upset, especially if it is in response to something they may have done. Instead of possibly getting angry, take a moment to count to ten and decide if you are still angry over your canine’s behavior. Is there an opportunity to utilize positive reinforcement in the moment or future to adjust the behavior?
  3. Remain observant of your patience when training. Many dogs learn at a different pace and may not learn the command quickly. In addition to this, you and your dog are communicating in different languages. By approaching each training session with a calm demeanor and patience, you will achieve success with your canine.
  4. Keep treats with you when you are with your dog. When they are learning a new command or you are reinforcing positive behavior, reward them with a treat quickly. If the treat is not received within seconds, your dog may not know why they are receiving a treat or you may be rewarding incorrect behavior. By promptly rewarding your dog with a treat, it will assist in positive reinforcement and strengthening your bond with them.
  5. Choose a training time and area that allows you to train your dog without distractions. Place your cell phone out of reach and perform the training in a quiet area. This will help your canine focus on your commands and enhance the quality time that you both spend together. Another benefit is that you will not feel rushed when training and your dog will not feel overwhelmed with the new information.

Training a dog is a constant process and you will often positively reinforce the commands that you have taught throughout their lifetime. If your dog’s behavior begins to falter, it will be valuable to begin scheduling regular training sessions again. With our attention and training, our dogs can reach their full potential and demonstrate incredible feats. Check out our previous blog posts on Buddy the German Shepherd and Barry the Saint Bernand to read more about incredible canine’s!

Rowan giving you “puppy eyes”!
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Mental Health Tips: Easy Coping Mechanisms to Relieve Stress

This past year was not easy for anyone. 2020 was a year we all had to live with and grow through! Mental health issues skyrocketed as professionals had never seen before. The good thing is, there is always a way to cope with the bad in your life. This blog is solely for any individual looking for ways to live a happy and fulfilled life even though mental health has affected you at some point in time. I will be posting amazing tips about how to be successful in your mental health journey and how Soul Dogs Inc is a great environment for individuals to work on their mental health issues. 

What is Mental Health?

In recent times mental health has been easily confused with many other issues and illnesses. To make it less confusing mental health, defined by the World Health Organization, is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” This is a powerful definition that has many requirements to fulfill to obtain a “healthy mind”. Don’t sweat it though! I will be giving you the best tips in order for you to develop and keep a healthy mindset.

5 Tips to Develop or Keep a Healthy Mindset

Five mental health tips to ensure a great start to your day:

  1. Start Your Day Doing Something You Love.
    • This can mean so many different things to different people, but doing a small thing for yourself in the morning goes a very long way for your mental state. Something as little as grabbing your favorite Starbucks coffee or going on a mile run are ways to create a healthy mindset. 
  2. Work your Strengths
    • If you have a big to-do list to tackle for the day and you have stressed it is uberly important to ‘work your strengths’. This means that you will complete a task you know you’re good at first, to build self-confidence and self-appreciation. After it will be way easier to tackle the harder challenges on your list and you will be less stressed!
  3. Keep Your Bedroom Cool
    • The optimal temperature to sleep in is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit! The reasoning behind this is because a part of your body’s sleep initiation process is cooling down and this specific temperature range is supposed to help your body hibernate quicker. A full good night’s sleep is a key component when it comes to a healthy mindset. 
    • https://www.mhanational.org/31-tips-boost-your-mental-health 
  4. Keep a Gratitude Journal
    • Every single morning it is important to physically establish on paper three things you are grateful for and three things you would like to accomplish that day. In doing so you are setting healthy goals and can look back on all the things that make you smile. Starting your day off on a positive note will only serve your mental health for the better.
  5. Take the Time to Laugh
    • This last tip sounds simple, but as adults sometimes we forget about all the hilarious and happy things within our lives. When you wake up in the morning I challenge you to laugh. Call an old hilarious friend, crack a joke here and there. Laughter is the best medicine for a healthy mindset. 

How Will Mental Health Affect You in the Future

In a blog titled Building Emotional Intelligence and Its Benefits, the author discusses that emotional intelligence is important to have inside and outside the workplace. It’s pretty funny because us humans never really know how our mental health will act up in the future, but with these tips every week I believe that you will see positive changes in your daily life. Soul Dogs Inc is a place where you can come and work on your mental health issues with the support of amazing staff and service animals. 

If you would like to learn more about mental health check out these links:

https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwjMsYP91tPwAhXTPa0GHS6LB5sYABAAGgJwdg&ae=2&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAESQOD21U9D1_N8VQZE_BsYmdjuuL410XhJa1vBhLt-ymmY0GZ3CkEvxjGYRifAAE_2iAITJ9ZOY3RLOHnHURyxdJs&sig=AOD64_3JWIwDU9RFGRFDqBsY3uxOIN2zAw&q&adurl&ved=2ahUKEwiptfn81tPwAhURac0KHRp6D5IQ0Qx6BAgDEAE&dct=1

https://www.mhanational.org/31-tips-boost-your-mental-health

By Zoelle

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Building Emotional Intelligence and Its Benefits

Emotional intelligence is an important skill to have inside and outside the workplace. It not only helps you communicate but allows you to relate with those around you. This blog defines what emotional intelligence is and how you can use it every day to improve relationships!

How to Improve Your Customer Service With Emotional Intelligence
What is Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions (verywellmind). Being able to express and control your own emotions is a very vital skill. But what is also equally important is being able to understand and respond to other people’s emotions. Emotional intelligence allows you to do both of these things. Building emotional intelligence allows you to become more aware of yourself and those around you.

Components of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is built up of many components. These include: 

  1. Perceiving emotions: This includes what is verbally and nonverbally expressed. 
  2. Understanding emotions: The ability to understand the meaning associated with the emotions we perceived. This can be tricky to navigate as verbal expressions can have multiple meanings, and non-verbal expressions can be hard to read.
  3. Managing emotions: This can be the hardest but most important component of emotional intelligence. This is the ability to respond to and manage your own emotions and react to others’ emotions.
Benefits of Building Emotional Intelligence

Lastly, there are many benefits to improving your emotional intelligence. First it will make you better at monitoring yourself. You will be able to tell what you are feeling and why you are feeling it. This allows you to specifically identify things that make you happy, sad, angry, excited, ect… You will be more aware of yourself which helps build better relationships. Secondly, it will allow you to connect with others better. Having a high level of emotional intelligence allows you to identify how others are feeling. Being able to do this then allows you to regulate your own emotions in order to respond to others. Overall this will improve your communication with others allowing you to be efficient and aware when talking with others.

If you would like to learn more about emotional intelligence check out these resources below:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/emotional-intelligence

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_45.htm

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Swansea Jack: The Black Retriever who Saved 27 People

The story of Swansea Jack is a relatively unknown one. It all started in 1930 when the young pup was born into the hands of Taulford Davies a young british man. Shortly after when Swansea Jack was a puppy he often attacked ducks in a local park where he destroyed the population. It was at this time the young pup was given to William Thomas who cared for the dog at his home on the shore of a river. 

As Jack made himself at home in his new place of residence he got more accustomed to the ocean and made his first save shortly after in June of 1931. A young boy was disposing of some garbage near the shore when he got into a scuffle and soon was dragged into the dangerous waters. Lucky the retriever saved the boy from the water and was dragged back to shore by the heroic dog. 

However, Jack’s legend really started with his second save during the month of July when he saved a distressed swimmer from drowning. As he pulled the swimmer to shore many onlookers stood watch and spread word of the dog’s heroic deeds. It was such a miraculous save that Jack ended up on the evening newspaper 

As time went on Jack saved more and more people from drowning. His tally of saved people eventually rose to 14 by 1934, but it might be higher as his owner was illiterate and unable to keep track of all of Jack’s heroics. But as time went on the dog garnered national attention and claimed a few awards for his heroic acts on the mouth of the river. As time went on his official save count rose to 27 which made him a local legend in Wales.

Sadly though Jack swallowed some fatal poison at age seven and died from the act. His body rests to this day at a memorial that still stands on the promenade near St Helen’s Rugby Ground. 

The amazing tale of hero dog Swansea Jack who saved 27 lives...but met a  gruesome end - Wales Online

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/amazing-tale-hero-dog-swansea-15954212

https://www.friendsofthedog.co.za/swansea-jack-famous-dog.html

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Fala The Scottish Terrier: FDR’s Constant Companion

Back in November of 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was given what would come to be one of the greatest gifts he would ever receive. Mrs. Augustus G. Kellog gifted him a young black Scottish Terrier named “Big Boy” as an early Christmas gift. And by the time FDR received the dog he was already around six months old and very well trained by FDR’s cousin Margaret Suckleywhich, making him fit to live in the esteemed White House.

The President quickly renamed the terrier ‘Murray the Outlaw of Falahill’ after a Scottish ancestor and before long the dog was soon being referred to as Fala. The young pup quickly adapted to life at the White House. While there he would sleep at the foot of the President’s bed and enjoy a bone brought to him every morning that accompanied the President’s breakfast tray. 

Roosevelt and Fala grew very close over the years. His faithful terrier would follow him almost everywhere he went and would accompany the President on his trips across the US and internationally. Before long Fala became a national icon in his own right. The little dog had two movies made about his time in the White House and even starred in a short run of political cartoons titled “Mr. Fala of the White House”. 

Eventually, his fame grew so great that a secretary was hired to answer thousands of fan letters that he received constantly. However, Fala soon caused the President to come under fire when a Republican congressman falsely accused him of spending millions of taxpayer dollars on a naval destroyer to pick up Fala who was accidentally left behind on a trip. This soon led to FDR’s famous Fala speech where he defended himself humorously while addressing the Teamsters Union.

Unfortunately, President Roosevelt passed away on April 12th,1945. Fala attended the funeral font and center to honor his deceased master and best friend. Fala spent the rest of his days with Mrs. Roosevelt where he was loved very much, but the terrier seemed lost without his beloved master. Mrs. Roosevelt is quoted in her autobiography writing “Fala accepted me after my husband’s death, but I was just someone to put up with until the master should return.”.

Fala died years later on April 5, 1952, and was buried in The Rose Garden near the President at their home in Hyde Park. This little dog captured the hearts of millions and was a loyal companion to his master which will be remembered for years to come.

https://dogs-in-history.blogspot.com/2016/04/fala-fdrs-favorite-dog.html

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-defends-his-dog