Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dog Training Shouldn't End With Puppyhood

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. 

February is Dog Training Education month!

BEYOND Sit/Down/Stay
You 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? 

The Leave It command enabled my dog and cat to stay in the same room together!

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. 

The dogs and I have fun in our training sessions!

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. 


Training should always be part of your dog's life

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!



50 comments:

  1. Oh Phoebe you will do an awesome job
    Lily & Edward

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  2. Good luck!
    We train daily. In fact, Nola trains more now than she did as a puppy!

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    1. Thank you! Daily training is great, I try to look for every opportunity to do some form of training even if it's a small thing.

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  3. I wish I started training with Cocoa sooner but we are doing it now. My Daisy was such an easy pup and always listened but Miss Cocoa is more of a challenge. It is fun to engage with her in training and see her make progress and have fun together.

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    1. Better late than never! Keep up the good work, I'm sure Cocoa will find her inner champion just like Daisy.

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  4. We are about to start working more with Pierre. It seems that he will probably not be moving with my daughter so it is time to quit spoiling and get to training! BOL!

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    1. I'm so glad Pierre is staying with you - you guys belong together! I'm sure he'll do great with his training.

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  5. Training is so cool because it also teaches me(human) to have a lot of patience too. :) Good luck for Phoebe becoming a Therapy dog! Her sweet face looks like a great therapy dog already! <3

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    1. Yes, you need so much patience for training! Thanks for the kind words about Phoebe, I think she'll make a great therapy dog too.

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  6. Bailey started puppy school when she was 4 months old and loved every minute of it. She especially enjoyed the advanced class where she was supposed to greet people and their dogs (politely) in public. I hope Phoebe gets to her goal of becoming a therapy dog!

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    1. Both my dogs enjoy training as well, although the treats probably have something to do with that LOL! I hope Phoebe gets through her evaluation to become a therapy dog, I think she'd be great at it.

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  7. That is exciting that Phoebe might be a therapy dog! We're working on a good "leave it" and "drop it" after a scary incident about a week ago.

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    1. Sorry you had a scary incident, that stinks, but we have to move on. I'm excited for Phoebe to become a therapy dog too!

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  8. I am blessed that Layla knows some commands, the most important but as she is getting older I am not pushing on her anymore. BUT I love reading and learning :)

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    1. I understand not wanting to push Layla, just make it fun for her to learn a few new things.

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  9. Phoebe is adorable. I'm sure that at the end of her Therapy Dog training all of the people she visits will love seeing her.

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    1. Thanks Patty, that's sweet of you to say! I hope she can make it to become a therapy dog, she's doing great in training so far.

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  10. Training is definitely a lifelong effort! I'm glad to hear that training with Icy and Phoebe is coming along so well. I love that Icy is a therapy dog. :) Therapy pets do wonders. I think that eventually Phoebe will be a great therapy dog too.
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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    1. I think of training as lifelong too, it's a great thing for both dog and human. I love being a therapy dog team with Icy, I hope Phoebe and I can also become a team.

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  11. What a great post! I think dogs are learners and are happiest when they are learning something new. It keeps them young!

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    1. Thanks! I agree, my dogs love learning new things. They are great in training & I love it too!

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  12. Great advice - learning should be lifelong, not just when a pet is young.

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  13. We're always working on training something or another. And reinforcing the things he knows!

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    1. Mr. N knows so many things, he's so well trained!

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  14. Good luck Phoebe! How exciting that she might soon become a therapy dog. I've thought about trying to get Ruby certified as well.

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    1. Thank you! I hope she makes it too. The CGC is our first goal. You should work on CGC with Ruby too if you haven't already, it's the first step to being a therapy dog and good to have anyway.

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  15. My mom's dog still needs to learn "drop it" and "stay"

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    1. Those are two very impawtant commands to learn!

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  16. I think positive training is so much fun. And Ted makes it even more fun because he is so easy to train. Altho "leave it" when it comes to a treat is definitely not his favorite.

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    1. No dog like to leave it when treats are involved! I love training w/ my dogs too.

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  17. Great post! Training needs to take place everyday no matter how great or small! Phoebe you are going to make it and be an amazing therapy dog! :)

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    1. Thank you, so glad you enjoyed it. It really does take LOTS of practice!

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  18. It is definitely an ongoing process. We still have several things to work on.

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    1. It is a process for sure. We always have lots to work on, but it's great fun.

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  19. What a great post! Phoebe & Shasta wish each other good luck as they both start their therapy dog journeys!

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  20. Great post! I definitely agree that training is for the life of the dog! We are constantly working on new things and reinforcing good behavior that they already know. :)

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  21. Great tips, especially as we are getting a puppy in May. I hadn't really thought of lifelong learning for our pets but it makes sense!

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  22. We've learned the need to continually train all the way up until old (old) age! Pups find it rewarding!

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  23. Good Luck! We are thinking therapy dog in our future as well!

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  24. Good Luck! We are thinking therapy dog in our future as well!

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  25. So much great advice - Good luck on Phoebe as a therapy dog!

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  26. Good luck Phoebe and well done Icy. I train Kilo - still working on lots of basics but he has improved so much. Such a pity and so damaging if a puppy is not socialized and trained. He still needs private lessons which are a bit expensive but I also do video classes and get tips from experts.

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  27. I love that you shared this post, Cathy. Such a good point: Reinforcing and learning are all parts of being a great responsible pet parent. Sharing on twitter now.

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  28. An emergency recall is so important. I'm still working on that with Walter and we'll likely need another class on this specifically.

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  29. Awesome post! Good luck Phoebe you can do it! Training is very important...I need to get back on my training game with Simba. He's actually pretty easy to train.

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  30. We need to work with my mom's dog to teach him some new things that could save his life.

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