National Train Your Dog Month

All Paws Up!!  It is National Train Your Dog Month.  Dogs and humans get a month to celebrate their bond through training.  Yippee – train, earn treats, and more couch cuddle time.  Who could want for more?

Why train with your dog? 

We’ll live longer because we’ll be off the couch.  We’ll drink more water – which we know is important.  Not enough?  Our dogs will love us.  Want more?  Training enhances communication with our dog, helping them be a better family member in our homes.  Still need an excuse?  A tired dog is a happy dog (and a happy human).  Tired dogs rarely get into trouble which makes their humans even happier.   

What can you train when the weather is yucky outside (rainy, snowy, insert any descriptor you find unpleasant)? 

Nearly everything!   Come when called is always a favorite.  Sit, down, on, off, crawl, back-up, find it, find Mom (or Dad, or baby brother) just to name a few.  What about High 5, Leave It, Stay, Wait, Shake (the whole dog), Shake a paw, Play ball……the list is nearly limitless!  What about loose leash walking?  That is another important one.  Training outside can be fun as well; however, teaching some basics first before you go on long walks outside can be very helpful.  There are also important life skills:  wait at the door, bathing, nail trims, being still for the Veterinary examination, and too many to list!  So, regardless of whether you’re inside or outside, let’s leash our pup (have them sit quietly while we put on the leash & open the door first), and have Some Fun!!

There is no reason to only train in January because many dogs love it so much, they keep trying to get their humans to play/train even when the school time lesson is over.  Equally important, the environment is always training – so be sure that your dog is learning what you want them to know/do.  So much to do & so little time? 

Remember a few things:           

1)  short training sessions (3-5 minutes) are best 

2)  reward what you like & with-hold rewards for behavior you don’t like.  You’ll get more of what you like & less of what you don’t!   

Start out on the right paw by contacting Southpoint Animal Hospital (919-226-0043) & scheduling a private or group lesson with our resident trainer, Lynn Rives.  Your dog will love you for it!

For more tips on training, the APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers) encourages everyone to enjoy the following links to learn more  about dog training: apdt.com and www.TrainYourDogMonth.com.