February is dog training education month. This month we highlight some key points about training education that are sometimes overlooked. Training is supposed to be a fun and fulfilling activity for you and your dog. No matter your dog’s age or training level, you can be sure to spend some good quality time and make memories to last a lifetime. Here are some things to keep in mind when training your dog.
Training Isn’t Just for Puppies
One of the biggest misconceptions about training is that it’s only for younger dogs. The phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is a myth.” Training can occur at any age with patience and consistency. Puppies may be energetic and ready to learn, but older dogs are just as eager to please their humans. Training also does not need to be complex. Sometimes it’s good to review basic manners to ensure your dog can behave appropriately when guests come over or even when you need to step out of the house. Reviewing things like no barking or no jumping only takes a few moments out of your day that can improve your dog’s behaviour in the future. Little training refreshers are also a great physical and mental activity to engage and spend time with your dog.
Advanced Training and Tricks
If your dog isn’t satisfied with the same old sit, stay and roll over commands, it might be time to increase the challenge. Trying new training avenues may be a way for your dog to get the exercise and cognitive challenges they need with different activities. Different training activities like agility or swimming can satisfy your dog’s energy levels and abilities. If you are looking for fun and more challenging exercises you can do at home, then teaching your dog new tricks can be just as effective. There are tons of tricks to teach your dog that you can find online. Whether they’re silly tricks or useful ones to fetch you some snacks, they’ll be sure to impress any guests that come over.
Positive Reinforcement Training
Of course, puppies are like sponges eager to learn and impress their owners. Not to mention, they love to inhale all the snacks they can get. When you’re dealing with a more mature dog, you have to find what motivates them to want to learn. Sometimes you need more than treats and may see your dog responds better to verbal praise and petting. All the training and tricks won’t be successful unless you have the proper reward system. Once the best reward is established, consistent training is essential to form a chronic response from your new training cue. Positive reinforcement methods are ideal for training your dog. Not only do they create a positive and safe atmosphere, but these lessons are also sure to stick with your dog as fun memories with their favourite human.
Training at Home and in the Park
Training at home can get boring, especially after being cooped up during the cold weather. When the weather is nice, it might be best to change the atmosphere and get some fresh air outside. The training atmosphere does not need to be in the same room or place. Part of the training is to replicate the cues anywhere you and your pup go. Taking your training to the park or on an outdoor trail can not only be a fun adventure, but it can also allow you to test your training, all while having a great time with your best furry friend. When training, always be sure you balance work and play.
For dog training education month, be sure to find suitable training activities for your dog’s energy levels and needs. Training can be fun and exciting and can strengthen your bond together. At Citizen Canine, we love to see dogs live their lives to the fullest! If your dog needs more activity in the day, be sure to check out our dog walking services and don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.