Our December newsletter each year is our “Year End” issue. The end of the year is a traditional time to reflect on our accomplishments from the past year. And to honestly review where we might have fallen short on our goals. Did you accomplish what you wanted this past year in regard to your dog?

Did you get in the training you had planned to do? Does your dog have better manners around home? Does he have better leash manners? Did you reduce that barking or leash reactivity or over-excitement with visitors at the door? Did you get your dog out for those daily walks you had vowed to do this year? Did you teach your dog a new trick or two or five?

If you didn't cover as much ground as you had hoped, don't beat yourself up about it. Most of us never quite find the time to accomplish everything we would like to! But now is your chance to remedy any areas where you might have fallen short with your dog(s) this past year.

What better time to renew your commitment to helping your dog reach his potential? If you have a dog who tends to bark a lot at passersby or the neighbor dogs behind the fence, winter is the best time to get started on that. If your dog has less than stellar leash manners or tends to be reactive toward other dogs or bicyclists or cars. . . now is the time to get working on that issue.

We tend to let things slide during the winter. We have shorter daylight hours, we have colder weather, sometimes the sidewalks are snow-covered . . . We can find lots of reasons why now is a good time to put things off.

But many of these issues get worse when spring rolls around and more people are outside. The more distractions you have to deal with, the more challenging these issues are to work on.

If you get a start in the winter months, springtime will be easier.

Here is what we do.

December is always a time to review the status of the past year's goals and set goals for the upcoming year.  Just like we have many personal and professional goals. the same is the case for our dogs.  We set those goals we want for our dogs in the same document where we list our personal and professional goals and review them monthly.  By setting goals, we find that this helps force us to put items on our to do list that will help us accomplish those goals.

So review the things you didn't make as much progress on this past year as you had hoped. And vow to get started now so that next year will be easier!