January is National Train Your Dog Month and there are myriad reasons to train your dog and we think the biggest one is that is builds your bond. Train your dog: build your bond? How does that happen?

When you train your dog — whether he’s a puppy or an adult dog you are spending quality time together . Any time you spend with your dog is a gift to him and a treasure for you. Also, our dogs love to please us and when they master a trick or learn a new skill, and we praise them or give them their favorite, delicious treat they look at us with those puppy-dog eyes and our hearts just melt!

Train Your Dog: Build Your Bond

As pet parents we want our dogs to be well-trained members of the family. Work with your dog to help her master the basics, including:

  1. Sit (one of the easiest and most basic commands to train)
  2. Stay
  3. Lay
  4. Heel, because when you’re walking your dog you want it to be fun for both of you!
  5. Come (could be a literal lifesaver. You want your dog to return to you when you call, no matter what distractions might be around)

Positive Reinforcement Training Strengthens Your Bond

When you’re training your dog, no matter her age, you want to incorporate positive reinforcement training into each session. This means, at its most basic, that you reward and praise good behavior and ignore the bad. For example if you are trying to train her to “sit” and she keeps wriggling around and won’t keep her butt on the ground, you ignore it when she stands back up. Once you say “sit” and her butt hits the ground — even if it’s only for a second — reward, praise and excitedly say, “good girl!”

Train your dog: Build your bond

After your dog has been trained to the basics that you’d like him to know, you can add a few fun and silly tricks to his knowledge base. Do you want to train him to fetch? Have you always wanted a dog who would jump into the air and grab a flying disk? How about working with your dog to teach him to ride a skateboard? There are many tricks that are fun for the two of you to learn together, you just need to know which one you want to train, focus on that and work with your dog until he has mastered it before you move onto the next trick.

To train your dog you can sign up for a basic obedience class. Once basic obedience has been mastered, the two of you can move onto learning tricks.

What do you want to teach your dog during National Dog Training Month?

Robbi Hess, Woman In The Pet Industry Solopreneur Finalist and award-winning author, is multi-petual. When not caring for her pets or taking them on walks, she is a speaker, efficiency and effectiveness guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words MatterMy Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof/Crimeless Cat.