Happy Holidays, everyone! ‘Tis the season for ugly sweaters, decking the halls, and, of course, getting those all-important Santa pics with our pups. This is also the perfect time to start thinking about our resolutions for the New Year.
This year, I wanted to be more intentional about setting resolutions that relate specifically to our Dalmatian, Ernie. For several years now I’ve been telling my fiancé, Jesse, that I’d like to get Ernie certified as a therapy dog. Well, you heard it here – 2020 is going to be the year that we finally get him certified so he can hopefully begin volunteering at Children’s Wisconsin, where I work here in Milwaukee. We’re also planning to take him on more runs and hikes, be more consistent with daily training sessions, and to continue acclimating him to our new kitten, Joni, and bringing him with us as often as possible as we explore Milwaukee. We’ll be sure to keep y’all updated on our progress on Ernie’s Instagram (@erniespotted)!
In the spirit of the season, I also reached out to friends, family members and our fellow DailyBarker contributors to get a sense of their resolutions for their pups in the New Year. You’ll find those below! I hope they inspire you to create a dog-related resolution or two of your own, or to add another to your current list. If you’ve already set a resolution for yourself and your pup in 2020, please share them in the comments below. We’d love to hear them!
Christina (@DailyBarker Founder) and Nash | Nashville, TN
In 2020, we are planning to go to the dog park at least 3 times each week. We recently moved from a very social neighborhood where Nash was always playing with his friends to a much quieter neighborhood. Nash LOVES the dog park and seeing the joy on his face when he’s running around is worth the 30 minute drive to his favorite park (even though there’s one MUCH closer to our house). The things we do for our pups. Right?!
Elizabeth (Ernie’s aunt) and Quorra, Arwen & Bosley | Dallas, TX
Having two Boxers and a Maltipoo, my husband and I are used to all of the cuddles, licks, and dog hair imaginable. Right now, our dogs are our children and everything they do is cute. Unfortunately, not all of our friends feel the same way about our four-legged children. We love having guests to our house and as much as I believe in the “this is the dog’s house, not yours” mantra, I do want my guests to feel welcome. My dogs on the other hand, aren’t usually on the welcoming committee. Once they’ve had their barks, licks and jumps on our guests, they’ll be their cuddly, cute selves. But it’s stressful for everyone, including the dogs. One resolution my husband and I have is to keep our dogs from jumping and licking guests when they come into the house. Wish us luck!
Callie (Ernie’s aunt) and Ollie | Charlotte, NC
Our New Year’s resolution for Ollie is to spend more quality one-on-one time together with him! Since having our baby in March, he has stepped up to be the most protective, loyal, and selfless brother a girl could ask for. Reminding him that he is still our top dog with more long walks, trips to the dog park, and tug-o-war quality time is much deserved, and our number one priority for him in 2020!
Patrick (Ernie’s uncle) and Ellie | St. Paul, MN
We adopted Ellie in July, so this is our first Minnesota winter with our high-energy pup. Our New Year’s Resolution is to find more indoor activities to meet her physical, mental, and social needs. We’ve signed Ellie up for a class that will teach her scent work, puzzle toys, and to use a treadmill – all activities we’ll be able to do with her without going outside when it’s below zero!
Julie and @jackson_the_dalmatian | Houston, TX
I really want to work on improving Jackson’s separation anxiety issues. He shows all of the basic issues: destruction (he has ripped up at least 6 rugs over the years), shadowing before we leave, excessive excitement when we come home, and excessive watching out the window while we are away. I want to work on these issues and try to help him be less anxious while we are gone. My goal is to research the topic and find ways to help him!
Amber and @izzy_the_chow | Alexandria, VA
Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten heavily involved in fundraising efforts to benefit animal rescue organizations. It’s been such a rewarding experience, and I’m so grateful for everything we’ve accomplished. However, Izzy will be 12 this year, and my goal for 2020 is to focus on balancing all of the interests in life, even if it means stepping back a bit from the charity work we’ve done. I love supporting rescue animals, but it’s also important to support my own rescue pup, and to spend time with her while we have the chance!
@bria_turner and Radar | Oceanside, CA
Our resolution is to enroll our new pup, Radar, in basic and intermediate obedience classes. It will be great for him to learn new tricks in 2020!
Sam (Ernie’s walker) and @sasja.and.edith | Milwaukee, WI
My resolution is to bring my dogs to more activities and dog-friendly events, such as dog parks and local breweries. Since I’m walking with other dogs all day, sometimes I can get a little lazy with my own. I want to make sure they’re still getting enough socialization since they can get a little cranky with other dogs!
Brittany and @ruby_themkedalmatian | Milwaukee, WI
Our 2020 resolution with Ruby is to address her excited greetings with familiar and unfamiliar faces. While it’s great that she essentially loves everyone, we both have to learn what the fine line of appropriateness is. As first time puppy owners, we’ve been learning a lot through our mistakes. We’ve been focusing on working with her around boundaries when greeting friends and family. This will not only take a lot of work on her part, but also from us as dog owners. In 2020, we will continue to try to improve our skills as first-time dog parents and learn more about Ruby and ourselves. We wish for a year of change and growth!
Jamie and @chocodoodkona | Milwaukee, WI
Our 2020 resolution with Kona is to really work on her barking. She can become quite “spicy” when she wants attention and tends to then bark. We’ve tried breaking it in the past, but really haven’t succeeded. We’re hoping to gain the patience to make some progress towards this goal. We’re also going to work very hard to ignore her, which usually helps during her spicy, barking moments. We’re hoping 2020 brings great success in not only this, but all other things! We want to walk more, adventure more, and spoil Kona even more than we already do!
Jenna and @knoxandbear | Boston, MA
Our first resolution is changing up our daily exercise routine! Having three pups forces us to stick to a pretty strict routine, with the same loop around the neighborhood before and after The Urban Hound, and of course before bedtime. Because of this routine, we often miss out on other beautiful seasonal sights the city has to offer. In 2020, we hope to change up our routine and explore different areas of the city by foot and find various forms of exercise, whether that be a new training class, agility, or further hikes.
We also want to have our pups learn a new trick or two and keep up with training! Training is a big part of the trio’s lives. Whether it be a 5-minute work session for dinner, local training classes or structured daycare, they are always ready to learn. In 2020, I hope to add more commands to each of their learned lists and continue to stay active and consistent with training.
Stacey and @wrigleyandtheo | Springfield, MO
Our New Year’s resolution for Wrigley and Theo is to explore more and spend more time finding new and fun dog-friendly places to hang out and meet new friends in the area. We want to help promote more dog-friendly places because of course dogs make everyone happy!
Kait and @fenwayindc | Washington, D.C.
A new year, a new decade, and time to think about what I want for Fenway and me in 2020. I’ve been reflecting on how smart Fenway is this past week and I realize I want to challenge him more this coming year. He loves to learn, so I’m planning on teaching this dog some new tricks. Roll over, spin and high-five are the first few I want to tackle. I love the idea of exercising his mind and engaging him. Plus, I get more time to play with my best buddy!
Lee Ann and @indythegoldendoodle | Atlanta, GA
Now that we have Indy’s new baby pup sister, Roux, it is a constant cycle of firsts and training. Indy works as a therapy dog at a long-term care and rehab facility at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, so our goal this year is to continue to build on Roux’s experiences, social training and obedience, hoping to prepare her for therapy certification as well. She and Indy go everywhere possible with us, and these experiences are a fantastic way to prepare her for therapy work.
Kim and @sheepish_addie | Atlanta, GA
Addie is a 4-year-old sheepadoodle (Old English sheepdog and poodle mix) with a strong herding drive. In the New Year, we would like to work on her restraint when off leash and playing with other pups in the Dood Squad so that she does not try to herd them all together into a corner. When it comes to the Dood Squad, our squad is comprised of seven doodles (poodle mixes) ranging from under one year old to eight years old. Our New Year’s resolution is to increase our work in the community in terms of being therapy dogs. Four squad members are already therapy dogs and we’re hoping to increase that number this year. Being a therapy dog means being displaying obedience wile spreading joy to the humans we visit.
Christine and @boogie_the_sheepadoodle | Denver, CO
Our resolution is to strengthen our bond with Boogie through training. We try to get in at least five minutes of training every day and have found the accountability and community on @tailsofconnection to be really helpful in achieving that goal. We train because it’s important, but also because it’s fun! And it helps Boogie’s confidence a ton.
I hope you enjoyed reading everyone’s resolutions! Happy New Year everyone! Can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!