January is National Train Your Dog Month

You’ll be surprised at the bonding and enriching experience it provides you both.


Even if you have a well-trained adult dog, make plans to get yourselves outside in January to practice the basics of training with your dog. It’s fun for both of you.

Not sure where to start? Focus on the basics of dog training: Sit, Stay, Down, Here (or Come), Drop It, Heel, and Okay, to release.

What Is National Train Your Dog Month?

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) began a National Train Your Dog Month campaign in January 2010, focusing on healthy dog training and socialization practices that are critical to dog’s well-being. Training can be key to the dog’s chances of remaining in a home.

Calm, Fair, Consistent Training Keeps Dogs in Forever Homes

Dog owners should strive to create training routines and practices with the goal of avoiding the development of behavioral issues.  These behaviors can include hyperactivity, separation anxiety, fear of other people and pets, or destructive acts while the owner is away.

It’s important to know that they are not bad dogs. They just don’t have the knowledge and training about acceptable behavior in the home. They need you to show them patience, structure, routine, and rewards.

Most often, dog owners and their dogs are speaking different languages. You don’t understand your dog’s signals and behavior, and your dog isn’t understanding you when you are trying to correct behavior.

Experienced trainers can point out to you what the dog’s behaviors mean and give you tools to best change or modify the behaviors.

Another huge onstacle is a lack of consistency. Keep in mind that the entire family needs to be on the same page with the training routine and key words.

Some new pet owners may try band-aid solutions that make problems more severe, like locking dogs away from the family, yelling, shock collars, or worse. By the time these dogs end up in a shelter, they’re confused and ill-equipped for life in a home.

Pet owners need to address training from Day 1 in the home. Good training doesn’t mean dominating the dog, but showing consistency, patience, a calm voice and level head, well-timed praise and rewards, schedules, and repetition.

If you need some additional help with training your dog, check with your local municipality, veterinarian, or animal shelter for local dog obedience classes. Sometimes a reference from another dog owner whose pet’s behavior you admire can result in a great professional training connection.

Learning Is Bonding with Your Dog

Training exercises with your dog are not only beneficial, but they are also a lot of fun! Dogs thrive on mental stimulation and enrichment. Your dog will enjoy getting all your attention as you work toward a common goal together.

Time spent training is time spent bonding, making priceless memories, and building a strong relationship and better communication between you and your dog.

Have fun, be consistent, and happy training!

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