I am pumped. January is National Train Your Dog Month! Yay! Created several years ago by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), Train Your Dog Month is about bringing awareness to the importance of socialization and training. The overall goal is to show dog owners how training is not only vital for their companion’s well-being, but it is also a lot of fun.
Even though we do still have a lot of behavioural things to work on (dang recalls) my absolute favourite things to teach are new tricks. They may not always have a practical purpose, but I think Shiva enjoys learning them as much as I enjoy showing them off. To me, the biggest benefit one receives from training is not necessarily the behaviour itself. More, it’s the deepening of one’s relationship with her dog. Fake-peeing on someone’s leg may seem silly, but the process of working together to put the action on a verbal cue creates a bond. The more tricks Shiva learns, hopefully the more connected we will become.
And the easier those bloody recalls may be.
I was toying around with the idea of putting something together to get you all involved. Fortunately Pamela at Something Wagging This Way Comes did it for me! All of the fun and none of the work! Woo hoo! If you haven’t checked out her training challenge, I encourage you to do so. Don’t worry if you have been as lazy as I am the last few months, Pamela’s criteria for participation isn’t strict. In fact, she even provided a lazy person’s guide for those just getting started. So there are no excuses not to join in.
Because I like to stress myself out over things that don’t matter, I’ve decided to take the challenge up a notch. Shiva and I do have quite a few training goals for the next few months, especially if we are going to start trialing this year. However, as my official task for the Something Wagging Challenge I am going to do something a little different, something I never before thought possible, something that may put us all in the hospital.
I am going to teach Shiva and The Cat to perform a trick together.
In the same room. At the same time.
Here’s a little sneak peak into our first session:
So things are going well!