“Every dog needs a job,” says Sandy. She has been training dogs (Dog School 101) for as long as she can remember. “Dogs need to work; they need a purpose. And one of the best things we can do for our animals is to get them busy with something that is fun and rewarding. Most dogs are problem solvers. This is why many love agility training. It provides structure, and it also gives them an opportunity to use their brains.

“If you can’t do agility training, try walking each day. All dogs benefit from a good walk. Some owners who have high energy dogs outfit them with a doggie backpack. Small dogs only need a good pathway, a caring owner, and time to release pent-up energy.”

What are the benefits your dog gains from being put to work?

• A greater level of self-assurance (even dogs have self-esteem).

• A sense of calm (Work helps to burn off calories, anxiety, and allows them to do what they do best: be in a pack).

• Best of all it creates a deeper bond between the owner and the dog.

Cocoa Joy at work—

This is probably not the type of “work” that Sandy has in mind. Here it appears Miss Cocoa is baking a batch of her favorite treats.

This is more like it: After a long walk up to Little Falls on the campus of Toccoa Falls College, she is ready for a healthy snack and some fresh bottled water!