Over 90 years ago, in 1930, Blanche Saunders published “Training You to Train Your Dog”, the first of its kind!  January 2022 is National Train Your Dog Month.  Whether you are starting out with a blank slate, i.e. Christmas puppy or you are trying to teach an old dog a new trick, let’s jump in this together and start the dog training today!

New Year, New Dog

dog shaking hands

Why is January an appropriate month for training your dog?  Quite simply because so many dogs are adopted around the holidays.  A significant number of these pups are returned or abandoned because they are not well-behaved, i.e. have had no formal training.  We know our pets are genetically gifted with unconditional love, but every dog needs training to be a model canine citizen.  The Association of Pet Dog Trainers created this campaign in January of 2010 to raise awareness about training and socialization.

Sit, Stay, Come

woman and dog training

Many dogs who are abandoned at animal shelters are because their owners don’t know how to deal with their dog’s unwanted behaviors.  Especially if you have a new puppy, your house will never look the same.  Maybe your new rescue dog barks all the time, or acts aggressively or has housebreaking issues. These dogs aren’t “bad dogs,” they just need the training to turn them into “good dogs.”  New pet parents often lack the experience or patience to put in the work to train their new pet. Yelling, hitting and punishing the dog does nothing to correct the behavior.  In fact, the dog ends up more confused.  Dogs need consistency and lots of practice.  The moment you bring your new pet home is the time to start day 1 of training!

Get a Pro

two dogs training

Are you a dog lover?  Well, of course you are!  Can you train your new dog all by yourself?  Of course you can.  There are many online resources, books, YouTube videos, etc. that can help guide your dog’s training.  However, consulting with a professional dog trainer is a great jump start for all dog moms and dog dads. The best way to find the perfect dog trainer is start asking friends and family.  Personal references are key to choosing the right fit of training for you and your dog.  You can also ask your local dog rescue, animal shelter or veterinarian for recommendations.  What should you look for when considering hiring a professional dog trainer?

  1. Education and experience in dog training.
  2. The trainer listens openly to your concerns, worries, fears and hopes for your dog.
  3. The trainer does not use physical punishments to train, rather uses treats, praise and games to teach.
  4. The trainer can help you with specific issues to correct problem behaviors.

A good dog trainer will always allow you to talk to personal references as well as sit in or observe their training session.  Make sure your dog is comfortable with this new person.  Building a bond is important for both you, your dog and the trainer.

Family Affair

child training dog

Training the dog involves the whole family, especially the kids! Children and dogs can form incredible bonds and spending time training only strengthens the connection. From basic commands to advanced obedience, kids are naturals when it comes to teaching dog’s a new trick.  Here are seven things your kids can train your dog to do:

  1. Sit
  2. Down
  3. Touch
  4. Come
  5. Spin
  6. Take it
  7. Peek a boo

For more info on dog training, click HERE.  For how to get your kids involved, click HERE!

Big Brain

dog training commands

In conclusion, remind yourself that dog training not only benefits you as the dog owner, but provides mental stimulation for Fido, too.  Dogs thrive when they are learning and practicing something new.  The connection and bond between dog and owner will only grow with good dog training.