By Robbi Hess ~ Managing Editor Pet Calendar, Crimeless Cat Executive Story Editor, Chief Cat Herder
Pet Calendar: National Train Your Dog Month
The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), seven years ago, designated January as National Train Your Dog Month. During the month, and throughout the year, they promote training the family dog. Whether you’re bringing home a new puppy or have adopted an older dog from a shelter you can help him or her be a better family member by training them with everyday manners. These manners can include:
- Walking on a loose leash
- Coming when called
- Basic commands like: sit, stay, lie down, wait
- Drop it (ideal if your dog picks up and eats non-food items or food items that can be harmful to him)
Many dogs are returned to shelters, and many of the dogs that are surrendered are around the age of eighteen months, simply because the dog doesn’t have good manners and hasn’t received basic training.
When you train with your dog you are helping cement the bond you have with him or her and as the pet parent you are learning better ways to communicate with your dog and to read his or her signals and body language.
We spoke with Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA, professional dog trainer and author of dog-centric training books. We asked her, “What is the biggest reason that pet parents should train their dogs.” She said, “The biggest reason for pet parents to train their dogs is to help build a stronger relationship with their pet.”
Robin explained that training is three pronged; it’s about:
- Management and
“Everyone wants a ‘well-trained’ dog, but you can’t really get that without some degree of relationship building and management,” Robin said. “When you build a relationship with your pet, training is so much easier. So you get a better companion and many of the ‘bad’ behaviors we don’t like begin to go away when you build a relationship based on trust and mutual cooperation!”
Have you trained your dog?