For the past eight years, the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) has designated the month of January as National Train Your Dog Month to bring awareness to the importance of training and socializing your dog to make them a well-rounded, well-behaved member of your family. In addition, APDT strives to educate the public on the fact that training your dog can be fun for both of you!
The APDT chose the month of January because it is a month dedicated to personal reflection, establishing resolutions and setting goals to improve behaviors. You might as well include your dog in that reflection and set some goals for their behavior as well.
ADPT is a professional organization founded in 1993 by renowned dog trainer, Ian Dunbar. The organization currently has chapters in 48 countries and over 5,200 members worldwide. Their members are professionally educated in positive, dog-friendly training techniques and are committed to being better trainers through continued education. More importantly, they are dedicated to helping you train your dog whether your goals are behavior modification, party tricks, or more advanced techniques like obedience training.
During the month of January, the Association will be offering a wealth of resources to the public through their website. These resources will include instructional webinars and videos designed to address specific aspects of dog training ranging from the basics of sit & stay, to more advanced techniques as well as discussions on the use of clicker training, food motivation and other types of training tools.
Another great find on the ADPT website is a database of certified dog trainers. You can locate trainers using your zip code, find a description of their services and a link to their social media or website. If you’re serious about training your dog, getting an expert opinion and some advice is the best gift you could give yourself and your dog. Even if it’s only one session, it’s well worth the money.
Your first step once you decide to invest in some training for your dog, is to determine the level of training you desire. You may just need some simple behavior changes like sit, stay, down, or walking on lead. The basics of a well-behaved dog. Once these basics are mastered, you might advance to more challenging behavioral issues such as barking, counter-surfing or destructive chewing.
You might also be interested in teaching your dog some party tricks such as roll-over, playing dead or even more advanced tricks or stunts such as shutting the door, covering their eyes or fetching your slippers.
The pinnacle of the dog training world is obedience training. It begins with the basics of sit, stay and down but can advance to competitions sponsored by the AKC and include more advanced obedience techniques such as the down-stay, back-up and heel.
The most important aspect of any training program is to make it fun, both for you and for your dog. If it’s not fun, you won’t stick with it and if Rover doesn’t enjoy it, he’s not going to learn very much.
Be sure and stop by the blog later this month for post on Training Tips for novice pet owners.