How to celebrate differently with your dog this year
This year’s Pride will be very different as cities across Canada cancel their Pride parades and festivals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn't mean Pride is canceled. The celebration continues as there's still a community and there's still a fight for rights and representation. The only thing that has changed this year is how
we'll celebrate. We need Pride and some fun more than ever.
So if you and your dog are looking for ways to show your pride this year, here's how to celebrate at home while social distancing.
Although we will all miss the annual festivities, our dogs will love an at home pride celebration. The absence of crowds and hot pavement and the presence of air conditioning and your undivided attention make a winning combination for our four legged best friends.
Start off your Pride celebration by making sure you and your dog are decked out with rainbow gear.
There are plenty of retailers selling rainbow print collars, leashes and bandanas this time of year. I like this wide clip collar from Ren’s Pets: https://www.renspets.com/products/rc-pets-wide-clip-collar-rainbow-paws
(Psst! Did you know CKC Members get a 25$ off coupon just for being a member? If you’ve renewed or joined for 2020 check out the Member Benefits - Corporate Partners and Affiliates page on the portal under My CKC
in the blue menu bar.)
Much like a collar, when fitting your dog’s Pride bandana ensure that the bandana is safely and comfortably fitted so that it does not restrict the dog’s breathing or movement. Just like with a collar, once secured the bandana should be snug but with enough room to fit two fingers between your dog’s neck and the bandana. Do not leave your dog unattended whilst wearing a bandana.
Now that you are decked out, it’s time to have some fun! Put on some tunes and get the party started!
One of the many great things about dogs is that they don’t need a reason to celebrate. If you are excited about something they will join in. Invite your dog to “dance” with you. You can even try to imitate some of the moves you’ve seen at shows like Crufts in England. Basic starter moves you can teach include spinning around in a circle. Use a treat to guide them and praise once the circle is complete. You can teach both clockwise and counter clockwise - just make sure you give each its own command so your dog won’t be confused.
If you are tall enough, and your dog is short enough you can teach your dog to weave through your legs. Start while you are standing still with your legs apart then use a treat to lure your dog through your legs making an eight shape. Reward at the end of the full shape so they know what is expected.
Depending on the breed, age and size of your dog you might be able to teach your dog to “dance” by encouraging them to step up onto your leg or forearm and eventually moving the treat up and away from you so that they are standing on their hind legs on their own. I wouldn’t attempt this trick with an older dog or one with physical limitations. Some breeds have a much easier time balancing on their hind legs than others. Even without teaching any new tricks dogs seem to enjoy it when their owners dance around them and usually join in the fun! Remember a dog’s hearing is way stronger than ours, so keep the music at a moderate volume.
While you are dancing it out, why not play some modern pop music by artists who love dogs? Joe Jonas’ Alaskan Klee Kai “Porky” was in his wedding party! Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd’s best friend is a Doberman Pinscher named “Caesar”. John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen own “Puddy” a Bulldog and two French Bulldogs named “Pippa” and “Penny”. Miley Cyrus even has her beloved Shetland Sheepdog “Emu”’ tattooed on her arm.
Although there won’t be a parade this year, there’s no reason you can’t go on a “Pride Walk” with your pack.
You can even get a friend or family member to join in and safely walk with you while raising funds online for a great LGBTQ+ charity of your choice. Many people are doing major walks over a period of time. For example, you could pledge to walk 50 km over the month, log each walk using an app on your phone, gain donations along the way and celebrate when you reached your goal. Set a realistic goal for both you and your four legged walking companion and remember to take water breaks often in this heat.
This year’s Pride celebration will be one to remember and lots of fun for your dog. Have fun and keep cool! How are you celebrating Pride this summer with your pup? Let me know in the comments below! Happy Pride.