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January is National Train Your Dog Month!

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So, did you know that January is National Train Your Dog Month?  Well, it is!  Yay!  As a dog trainer, I love that we have our own month, so to speak.  Training is such an important aspect of owning a dog and often it gets neglected.  So anything that helps get awareness out there is a huge bonus!

The sad fact is that many puppies are given as gifts at Christmas and by February many are being dumped in shelters all across the United States.  Why?  Largely because of a lack of knowledge on how to train the puppy.

Potty training can be challenging enough when you do know how, but imagine what it’s like for those that have no clue!  Then add to the fact that there are so many out there teaching methods that do more damage than good.  It’s a sad situation for many.

Having a National Train Your Dog Month will, hopefully, help get the word out to people who are struggling right now with that Christmas present puppy, and maybe save a few from being dumped at a local shelter.

So, how do you choose a trainer?  Which method do you go with?  Should you do a private class or is a group class better?  All great questions!  Questions I’ll be answering over the next few days, so check back here at Praising Paws!   You know the saying…. Praise will get you everywhere!  🙂

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To Begin With…

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I’m a firm believer in using Positive Reinforcement Training methods.  However, way back when (as they say), I originally learned to train in what is now considered to be the old fashioned way, or traditional method, where the dog learned to “obey” or else it faced some sort of punishment – usually a jerk on a choke chain or pinch collar.  Basically, you “asked” the dog to do something, such as heel, and when it tried to explore or do anything other than walk right at  your side, you would give a quick jerk of the choke chain or pinch collar to let them know they’d made a “wrong choice”.  It didn’t matter that the dog had zero idea what “heel” meant in the first place.  The idea was that the dog would eventually figure out how to not get it’s neck jerked or pinched by doing what you wanted.

Thankfully, people have since learned that there are much better ways to train dogs.  Dogs naturally want to please us and will, provided we use a little bit of our intelligence and figure out the best way to teach them what it is we’re wanting them to learn in the first place.  A dog that is motivated to learn will enjoy the process so much more and therefore be much more reliable.  Plus, it’s just a lot more fun for even us humans when everyone, including the dog,  is having a good time.  🙂

I, and my dogs, are so very grateful to be using the updated Positive Reinforcement Training methods these days and no longer using tired old methods that don’t work as well and certainly do not lend to anyone’s enjoyment.

I hope you enjoy the time you spend here with me and all my furries!  Please be patient as I work to get this blog to where I want it to be.  I’m still not totally sure about the theme, never mind everything else there is to work on with one!  But hang out…. it could be fun 🙂

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