Updated: Jul 9, 2019
When I began training dogs, one thing struck me right away; many of the issues owners were having had very little to do with training and a whole lot to do with dogs that were physically and mentally unchallenged.
Think about your day from your dog's perspective; how long and fast was his walk? Was the terrain uneven, challenging and exciting? Did he have to problem solve along the way?
How long did breakfast last? Did it need to be stalked, chased, pounced on, attacked? Did your dog's breakfast challenge her by hiding, by running, by being tricky to get at? How much energy, both mentally and physically did breakfast take to obtain?
What was your one-on-one time like this morning? Did you play fetch, or tag, or hide and seek? Did you play tug until you're both tired? Did you snuggle together afterward, content and spent?
How was your dog's day? Did she have to keep monsters at bay, run after errant livestock, track a fox through the woods, retrieve a dozen ducks? Did she have to run across uneven ground, outwit a wiley old ewe, pull a duck out of thick brush, find a scent that crossed a creek?
Most of our dogs do not live lives that fully engage their brains and bodies. They live sedentary lives interspersed with short walks on flat ground in familiar territory; they eat food that arrives like magic, day after day; and for mental stimulation they learn a few tricks or are given puzzle games that are either quickly solved or that rely on persistence more than problem solving.
Sunrise Dog Gym is designed to help dogs and owners come together and engage our dog's minds and bodies. By introducing novel experiences every week that are both physically, and mentally unique, we can help our dogs fulfill their truest selves.
The gym is designed for the average pet owner in mind and is not limited by your dog's previous training, age, health, or fitness. Any dog can benefit from the gym! Young puppies can explore safely and build a relationship of trust with their parents, while old dogs who can no longer experience long hikes will have access to a low-key workout with their parents in air conditioned comfort with safe, soft, non-slip flooring.
One of the reasons I started Sunrise Dog Gym was that I saw that dogs don't necessarily need more training, rather they need an outlet for their energy and mental drive. Trainig certainly helps. So does long hikes. But many people either don't want to do dog sports with their dogs, or can't.
I also saw that many of the solutions that people use to help their dog find an outlet for their needs occurred in the absence of the owner. Day cares teach dogs to play with other dogs. Dog parks do the same. These dogs aren't engaged with their owners, they could care less about their owners when they're in these places!! I want to put the owner back in the picture!
Think of all the things our dogs were bred to do. Nearly all of them are governed and steered by their bond to their people. Hunting dogs hunt, at the behest, and after hours of training, and reinforcement of this great game by their people. People are the avenue to all that is great in these dogs' lives. But at daycare, you're not even there; at the dog park, in most cases, you may as well not even be there.
Sunrise Dog Gym puts you back in the picture. You and your dog face challenges and solve puzzles together. Your time together will be the best part of your dog's day.
Sunrise Dog Gym hits on three of the Five Principles of Dog Training; Grit, Relationship; and Confidence. By building up these core strengths, you can build your dog's best life.