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Pet Tips! January is "Train you dog month"


Part One of Three

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) has declared January as their National Train your Dog Month.
Some of you may have acquired a new pet this holiday from adoption or a shelter. Good for you! Some of you may have just been enlightened during the holidays that Fido might need some fine tuning in the behaviour area! So let's get going..... here are some dog training tips as we recognize the importance of January's "Train your dog month" and owning a well behaved pet.

It’s a time to learn new skills, reinforce old ones and build a stronger bond with your dog.

Often people forget how much work goes into training a new puppy. It’s much like having a new baby! You must watch them closely until they learn what is allowed and what is not.

People sometimes find within a few week after adopting their new puppy that it was not an appropriate match for their lifestyle. Often these puppies end up at the pound.

If you are going to stick it out (which I hope you will) don’t despair! With some time and patience you can have a wonderful furry addition to your family.

Let’s start by writing out a plan of action. Tracking daily interactions with your new puppy can help you to see how you are progressing with basic obedience and manners. Post your written plan where all members of the household can see it and track their interactions as well. You can post it on the fridge, the computer, or on any wall that everyone will easily see. Discuss your progress daily.

Step 1

·         Get yourself a good baby gate, or several. Use them to keep your puppy from getting into trouble around the house.

·         Mix it up! Get a variety of puppy toys and change them out every other day to prevent boredom. This should prevent them from wanting to seek out other objects such as your shoes!

·         Start Crate Training early! Being crate trained can assist in housebreaking, as dogs do not like to do their business where they sleep. Dogs are “den-dwelling” animals. They think of their crates as dens. Their own private, safe and secure get-away. This can be a real asset if you have multiple people over or small kids visiting. The puppy will have a safe and quite place to go.

·         Use the crate as part of your puppy’s training. You can train them to “go to bed” or “crate”. This can be useful when visitors come over or when you want to eat at the dinner table and not have puppy begging for food off your plate.

·         Get Educated! Start a Puppy Kindergarten! Puppies will learn to be social as well as learn well behaved manners and basic training such as sit, down, come and stay. Make sure your veterinarian has okayed you to start getting puppy out and about. Many classes will require at least the first 2-3 puppy vaccines from a licensed veterinarian and some will require that they have finished the entire series.  You may know of a class already but you can also look here at which has a “trainer search” feature or at which lists leading to the AKC S.T.A.R puppy or AKC Canine Good Citizen awards trainers.

·         Stay on the same page! Make sure that everyone in the house uses the same cue words when teaching. If you say “down” to lay down, then don’t say “down” when you are trying to get them to stop jumping up on your leg. Use something like “off.” Use the same cue words for each teaching word.

·         Puppy Proof your home! Review your check list of puppy proofing methods in the house as they may change as puppy grows and becomes more active.

o   No electric cords dangling or in reach

o   No chewables on the floor, socks, toys, small pieces of games/toys, etc.

·         Visit your Veterinarian often for socialization! We want the veterinary clinic to be a positive and happy place for puppy so when you do need to come in it won’t be stressful on you or on puppy.

Okay, there you have it! Part one of three in our Series. Check back soon for Part two!!

Thank you for your continued Support of the Az Pet Professionals! Arizona's Preferred Network of Pet Professionals! From all of us! We work for YOU! Insure Your Pet's Health For Pennies A Day!
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