Written By Briseis Schreibman
We’ve all heard the famous saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” This phrase (or versions of it) have been around since at least 1534. The earliest citation of the phrase was included in “The Book of Husbandry” by Anthony Fitzherbert, where readers are encouraged to train their dog young as it will be harder, if not impossible, to do so as they age. Sheesh, with a reputation like that, it’s no surprise that modern-day owners may feel discouraged training their older pups.
Luckily, this bad rep is easily disproved with a little research into dog development stages. Just like babies go through different periods of learning as they mature, so do dogs. During the first months to a year of life, the puppy goes through an accelerated learning course. Naturally, this is an excellent period for age-appropriate training and socialization because they are already in “learning mode.” Their brains are absorbing vast amounts of information, and their personalities are still developing based on their experiences at this time. However, training can be just as rewarding a process when the dog ages.
As dogs grow older, they become set in their ways, and their personalities begin to solidify. This “stubbornness” may initially deter owners, but I encourage you to push through that discomfort. Training provides structure and mental stimulation that will help keep your dog sharp late into their life. And of course, keep your goals realistic. Setting expectations for both yourself and your dog will make training fun for everyone!
Written By: Briseis Schreibman
Noises! They’re a constant presence, especially in a big city like Chicago. Although some sounds like fireworks or other outdoor celebrations may be temporarily on pause, there’s still stormy nights and loud upstairs neighbors. Some animals pay these distractions no mind, but unfortunately, others turn into a mess of anxiety. My greyhound George certainly leans toward the latter. Fireworks are his kryptonite, one loud kaboom, and he would start whining and try to hide in the nearest crevice. At first, we thought he would grow out of this fear as he became familiar with the sound, but after a few rough nights, we realized it was time to take a more active approach. With some research online, along with trial and error, we found some reliable solutions. The most effective treatment for George was offering a safe place.
We put his bed in the most soundproof part of our home. This gave him peace of mind and a place to retreat to when he was feeling scared, allowing him some ownership of the process. When the sound is prolonged, we will often try to “compete” by playing a white noise machine or some other soft music. This provides a gentle distraction that can redirect a sacred animal’s attention. The use of thunder jackets and different calming scents are also often promoted by animal-help guides. For George, a safe place and some calming sounds are just the tricks to get through some spooky loud noises. Of course, every animal is different, and the solution to one pet’s anxiety might not be the same as another.
Whatever your pets’ speed, CUP would love to hear about your tips for managing animal stress.
Written By: Briseis Schreibman
Whether it’s a quick trip to the park or a slow meander around your neighborhood, walking your dog can be one of the most rewarding parts of your relationship. Your time walking together is not only a great way to get exercise and fresh air but also to bond and establish trust. Employees of CUP love walking dogs, as you well know, but for the times we’re not around to help out, we have some fresh ideas to spice up your walking routine! Though it may seem unconventional, letting your dog walk you can be a wonderful experience. I had my doubts too, but after testing this out on my own dogs, I absolutely love it. Here’s the plan: start your walk as you usually would and let yourself get a block or two away from home, so your pup doesn’t get distracted. From here, keep a steady pace, and as you come to an intersection or turn notice where your pup is directing their attention. Some dogs will show immediate interest in a particular direction, and others will be a little more hesitant; either way, just be patient and try to get in tune with your pup’s interests. You may just find yourself exploring uncharted parts of your neighborhood or even discovering somewhere completely new!
Of course, it’s always important to know your furry friend and judge when it’s time to step in and get back in charge of the walking route. However, this is a super fun experiment to shake up your usual routine and go on an adventure with your pal! Try it out and if you find yourself anywhere exciting or silly, snap a photo and tag the CUP Instagram page so we can follow along!
Written By: Briseis Schreibman
The age of pet social media influencers is upon us! With Instagram and Facebook feeds filled to the brim with perfectly timed snapshots, it’s only natural to wish for the same high-quality shots of your pet. Though when it comes down to it, these seemingly effortless shots can be anything but. I myself have tried to help my pets rise to stardom but have struggled with camera-shy cats, overly energetic pups, and dim lighting. When I started working with CUP and began photographing pets more regularly, I picked up on a few simple tricks!
First and foremost, picking the right environment is key. Photographing your pet in a place both of you are familiar with will allow you to predict how they will behave and ensure they are at ease. Rather than going to a bustling new park, stick to their favorite room of the house or a pretty spot you walk by frequently. Knowing how your pet will interact with the space will allow you to plan what types of shots you can realistically achieve.
Once you’ve found your location, get eye level with your pet. Coming down to their level means you capture their facial expressions up close and personal! Use gentle attention-getters like kissy noises or snaps to have them look your direction. For an especially camera shy pet, you may even want to use small treats to coax them into making eye-contact. And of course, have fun! If you’re feeling stressed about getting the perfect shot, your pet will pick up on that energy. Let loose and take lots and lots of photos, you can always go back to find the best ones and work some editing magic. Every pet has their photogenic side; it’s just a matter of helping them discover it.
And of course, CUP will always be here as well to snap photos of your pet during our own adventures with them.
Written By: Stephanie Surjan (Owner)
CUP wants to send out a holler to all our WOOOFS out there who are protesting PEACEFULLY!
Our team member Nao shares witht us a list resources and ways that you can help: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/