The Association of Pet Dog Trainers has declared January to be NATIONAL TRAIN YOUR DOG MONTH!!!
This is a great opportunity for you and your people to learn new skills and brush up on old ones. I know that many of my dog blogging friends are already doing lots of training. The Happy Heelers herd, Ludo does tricks, Honey does freestyle, Big Pupi is a therapy dog and Mango's momma is always training him to stand in a cardboard box.
The better behaved you are the more places that you get to go with your person. Because I am well behaved I get to go to outdoor cafes. Barbara wouldn't take me if I went all cracker dog in public.
It doesn't have to be hard. You can incorporate training into all your daily activities. When you are on walks, practice your sit stays at every traffic light and stop sign. Even Ambrose has learned how to do that. Practice tricks while your people are watching TV. Every time a commercial comes on they can do a trick with you!
Learn a new dog sport with your person. As you know I like to do tracking.
I also practice my rally exercises.
Here is a video of me last year while we were learning our freestyle routine. Barbara rewards me as we practice. Sure, we made some mistakes but that just meant that we had to practice some more.
I love training. It is always fun, full of rewards and I have Barbara's undivided attention when we practice together. The funny thing is that the more that we practice, the more that I want to train. The training time with Barbara becomes its own reward (although I do love all the treats, praise and petting that I get).
Don't know how to get started? Get your people to sign you up for a training class or get help from a local trainer. APDT has a trainer search where you can find a trainer in your area to help you. Or get a group of your dog pals together and go for training walks around town. People will be impressed with how well behaved you are. Learn some new tricks. There are lots of training books and videos available.
Keep it positive in 2010. Training should be fun, fast and effective. No rough stuff. Reward based training is the best!
So get training and take some photos. Check back here because we will be announcing a training contest that will be an officially sanctioned Mango Minster event.
Happy New Year!!