National Train Your Dog Month!

I just learned that January is National Train Your Dog Month! So to celebrate, let’s talk about dog training.

The fact is that most dogs living in homes have had no training. When I hear people complain about their dogs, or when I watch dogs jumping on people and practically knock them over, I know it’s not the dog’s fault – they’ve never been taught how to behave. Lack of training is one of the biggest reasons that dogs are surrendered to shelters and ultimately euthanized. It’s tragic that dogs lose their lives because no one bothered to help them learn how to behave well.

Most people don’t know how to properly and kindly train dogs to be good canine citizens and pleasant family members. But think about it: how are dogs supposed to know the house rules and standards of etiquette if no one ever teaches them? Dogs are like children in that way – they need kind, positive, and consistent guidance to help them learn how to be a cherished part of the family.

The thing is, dogs want to make us happy and all they’re looking for is some direction as to what they can do to make us happy. And all dogs can learn! If you train your dog with love and kindness, your dog will give his all to please you.

Victoria Stillwell, she of TV fame, offers her tips for positive training here. And there are lots of books available about dog training. But please, only seek out dog training information that uses positive training methods. There is no reason to ever use old-school fear or pain-based dog training. You want a relationship based on love and trust – not fear and pain.

As for local resources, Petco and PetSmart both offer regular dog training classes for adults and puppies. When we first adopted Izzy the Wonder Dog from the Jackson County Shelter, we took classes at PetSmart, followed up with home training from Bark Busters, and boy did that make a huge difference! Izzy was able to quickly learn basic commands and overcome her separation anxiety. Now she is a perfect dog, if I do say so myself. Check the phone book for several other local trainers, but again: Please look for trainers that use only POSITIVE training methods.

One dog training service is so new to the Rogue Valley that you won’t yet find them in the phone book: Go Rogue Dog Training Center, LLC. This group of four nationally certified trainers is offering group training classes for puppies and adults, as well as in-home private lessons. You can reach them at 541-327-9599.

Here’s to happy tails and PAWsome results for you and your dog!

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    Dee Perez

    Dee Perez is lifelong animal lover and animal welfare proponent. She developed and taught a year-long series of university-level classes called Two-Legged and Four-Legged: Exploring Human Relationships with Animals that explored myriad issues around ... Read Full
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