FEBRUARY IS DOG TRAINING EDUCATION MONTH!
Most people know that training a puppy is important, but not everyone realizes that training doesn't end just because your dog is all grown up. Dog training should continue throughout a dog's life.
BEYOND Sit/Down/StayYou diligently attended Puppy Class, teaching your new puppy the basic obedience commands like Sit, Down, and Stay. You've potty trained her. She knows how to give her paw. You've socialized her so she doesn't freak out when people come over. Great, Now what? Are you done?
When it comes to your dog learning new things you should never be "done". There are so many useful things to teach your dog that will make life better and more enjoyable for both of you.
> Dogs love to learn new things and be challenged.
> Training is both mentally and physically stimulating for a dog
> Training is FUN for dogs! It's like a game for them
> Dogs can forget, re-enforcing training regularly is important
> Training is a great way to prevent or stop negative behaviors
I continually train Phoebe and Icy, we have so much fun training together! It keeps them mentally stimulated and challenged and prevents negative behaviors from cropping up.
Beyond basic obedience and tricks training, here are some common issues dogs have that can be curtailed or prevented through training:
A Solid Emergency Recall can save your dog's life one day
How the Leave It command can restore harmony in your home
6 ways to prevent your dog's Inappropriate Chewing
How to prevent your dog from Door Dashing
STOP your dog's leash pulling
How to prevent your dog from jumping on people
I started Icy, my Siberian Husky, in puppy class at the age of 16 weeks. I continued on through intermediate and advanced obedience training, then introductory rally obedience and agility training. She ultimately got AKC CGC (American Kennel club Canine Good Citizen) certified and went on to become a certified Pet Partners Therapy Dog. However, I still work on training with her and I always will.
I'm really excited because Icy is starting a Tricks training class in March! Tricks training class is a blast, there's always something new to learn. This will be Icy's second Tricks training class. My next big goal for her will be Nose Work!
Phoebe is starting an Advanced Obedience training class this week. She learns fast and is pretty well trained, but another thing I like about the classes is that they provide a level of socialization for the dogs.
Phoebe is very attached to me and I like giving her opportunities to meet other dogs in a safe environment. It helps with impulse control and focus as well. There are other dogs in the room, getting treats and doing training activities all around each other. Maintaining focus on me and not getting distracted by the other dogs in the room is in itself helpful training.
My goal is for Phoebe to become a Therapy Dog as well, just like her sister. Wish Phoebe luck! I'll be blogging about her progress on that goal over the next few months.
I train both on my own and in formal classes. I enjoy the classes because I get to meet other dog parents and hang out with my favorite trainers. I've learned so much from my dogs' trainers over the years and have made some good friends!
Now is a great time to enroll in a new dog training class, find some YouTube training videos, get a new puzzle toy or a book on how to train dogs. Have fun together and make training an ongoing part of your dog's life!
Only positive training methods should be used! Never yell, hit, or punish your dog in any way during training. It's cruel and will only teach your dog to fear you and hate training sessions!
What are your thoughts on lifelong training for dogs? What type of training are you doing with your dog now? Leave us a comment, we love to hear your thoughts!