January is Train Your Dog Month

What does train your dog mean?  For many people, it may be as simple as getting them to sit and lay down.  I have had the pleasure for many years teaching Puppy Kindergarten at Colonial Terrace Animal Hospital.  The bond between you and your puppy is so rewarding to watch.  Dogs love working with us.  It is a one on one experience for them, and the food motivated puppies just love it.

Dogs need socialization and training to become well-behaved companions as they grow older. By starting with the five basic commands and socialization you are on your way to having a great companion for the rest of their lives.  By the way, if you get an older dog it is never too late to train.

The Five Basic Commands

  1. Teach Your Puppy To Come
  2. Teach Your Puppy How to Walk on a Loose Leash  
  3. Teach Your Puppy To Sit
  4. Teach Your Puppy To Stay
  5. Teach Your Puppy to Lay Down

As our dogs over the years have become more of a family member the need for them to be well behaved is even more important.  We want to go on walks, take them on vacation, and have doggie play dates. We even have clients who have taken their dog to the hospital to visit a family member.

The Tri-State area offers puppy kindergarten classes and obedience classes.  I would recommend going and watching first.  Especially for your puppies, the class should be taught with only a positive approach to learning.

For people who fall in love with obedience and their dogs love to work, AKC offers a number of different options.  I recommend going to their website and looking.  One option is agility for the sports-minded dogs.  It is a fun fast paced sport for both handler and dogs.

I have two English Springer Spaniels, Remi and Regan, and we are currently working on AKC Rally.  It was started for the beginner in obedience.  It has multiple levels that you can compete in.  You and your dog start on lead and as you move up it becomes all off lead. Remi has her Rally Novice Title and we are working on the next level.

Most of all go out have fun, and take 15 to 20 minutes a couple times a day and work with your dog.