Bringing home a new puppy is similar to bringing home a newborn baby. It isn't a walk in the park; and it can present challenges that you were not prepared for when you first saw those adoring puppy eyes. This is why The Association of Professional Dog Trainers designates January to be Train Your Dog Month, a time for new dog owners to learn how to effectively train their dogs to listen, learn and grow. Dog adoptions take place during the holiday season; so APDT feels that January is the ideal time to start training your new pup.
"The event is designed to promote the importance and benefits of training dogs to become happy and healthy companions. Too many dogs are turned into animal shelters each year for behavior and training issues that could be easily solved with proper socialization and positive, gentle, science-based methods of training. Moreover, we want the public to know that training your dog is not just beneficial, it's FUN!" (TrainYourDogMonth.com)
As you want pets to listen, dog asks the same from their owners and trainers. If dogs appear uncomfortable or unhappy around other dogs, direct them away from other animals. Additionally, be consistent with your training methods and understand that changes in your dog's behavior will take time.
Here are five essential dog commands you can teach to Fido
1) Sit: Hold a treat close to the dog's nose. Once they perform the action, give them the treat.
2) Come: Put a leash on your dog and say "come" while gently tugging on your dog.
3) Down: Hold your hand up to your dog's snout and slowly move it down as he follows.
4) Stay: Ask your dog to "Sit." Then, open the palm of your hand and say "stay," while slowly moving away.
5) Leave it: Get a treat in your hand and let the dog lick or smell it; but say "leave it." Repeat until the dog doesn't touch the treat.
Dog Tips From the Pros
"I tell my clients that the best time to train is when their dog is about
to hit the “puppy spaz” hour—that time of day when he races around the
house or yard for no apparent reason. I find that it is usually around
the same time every day. This is the perfect time to do some training." Melanie Walker, Surprise, AZ
"Once a new behavior has been learned, incorporate it into your daily routine." Jamie Da Mato, CPDT-KA, Animalsense Canine Training and Behavior, Inc., Chicago, IL
"Use training treats strategically. For behavior that your dog already knows (e.g., sit), use lower-value treats, like pieces of his kibble. When you want to encourage him to learn a new behavior, use higher-value treats. The reward should be commensurate with the difficulty of the task." Patricia Bentz, CPDT-KA, CDBC, K-9 Training & Behavioral Therapy, Philadelphia, PA
Because training your dog can be a challenge, Deerbusters.com recommends that dog owners should install a backyard dog fence. Complete dog fence kits gives pet owners piece of mind that their domestic animals are securely enclosed and will allow your dog to freely explore without getting into trouble. Poly dog fencing is recommended for smaller, calmer dogs, while metal dog fences are meant for larger, more rambunctious dogs.
This January, train your dog in a dog backyard fence from Deerbusters.