National Train Your Dog Month has been celebrated for over ten years now, every January, and was established by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers as a reminder that dogs need regular training and socialization to become well-adjusted companions and stay that way! Training is a lifelong learning process and helps keep dogs mentally sound, strengthens and maintains the bond with their family, and provides a great way to communicate.
Celebrate National Train Your Dog Month by training your dog for 5-15 minutes, three days a week. These short and sweet sessions are easy to accomplish and still reap all the benefits.
Yes, teaching basic obedience is a great thing for any pup to learn, but training isn’t just about learning how to sit or stay on cue. Dogs are learning all of the time, and there are other ways you can sneak training into your routine and keep it fun!
- Tricks – these cute, fun behaviors are taught just like obedience, but can sometimes feel more exciting to teach. Tricks are best taught once a dog has mastered a few of the basics as these may be part of the trick. One example is, to teach a dog to crawl, it’s good to have a solid down already in your dog’s vocabulary.
- Games – many pups love to play with us, and games can also take on training elements because games come with rules! For example, you may play fetch with your pup, and the only way your pup gets the toy thrown again is to release the toy and let you pick it up to throw.
- Sports – like games, dog sports have rules to play. Sports like agility, barn hunting, nosework, freestyle, rally, frisbee, and more all have training elements built in that a dog needs to learn and continue to use when participating in the sport. A great example is nosework, where a dog learns to signal to his owner when he has found a particular scent.
- Daily Routine – many people include training in their daily routine without even realizing it! Little things like waiting for a pup to sit before putting food down or asking for him to wait at a doorway while you open it are practicing training and good manners. You can add to your daily training routine by mixing up what cues you give your dog before going outside, mealtime, walks, on walks, or even starting a game. This can help ensure your pup is listening to you as well and not only responding to the environment.
If you’re having trouble teaching your dog a new behavior or want additional training support, find a Camp Bow Wow location near you. Camp Bow Wow advocates the use of science-based, humane, and ethical dog-training to bring Pet Parents and their dogs closer together.