Last year the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) decided that it was long overdue to dedicate a month to promote socialization and training. So in 2011 January became National Train Your Dog Month. The first month of the year was chosen because so many dogs are adopted or purchased during the holidays. APDT wants to encourage new pet parents to start off the New Year on the right paw.
In celebration, many dog-related business are sponsoring special discounts on training classes and hosting free events. My favorite is the K9 Nosework workshop at All Dogs Gym and Inn in New Hampshire. K9 Nosework is a great into to canine sports, because it doesn’t require any prior training to dive right in and experience the fun. Any dog can search for a food pouch, the first step in the sport.
I find that many people who are new to dogs often assume that training is for professionals and that their dog could “never do that.” But National Train Your Dog Month encourages people to discover how fun training can be and will lead to happier and healthier people-dog relationships.
National Train Your Dog Month is certainly not limited to those new to dogs. I’ve vowed to incorporate a little training throughout each day, so I put different exercises and skills on index cards (crate games, sit stay proofing, shaping a new trick, etc…) to make it really easy to remember to train anywhere.
What will you do for National Train Your Dog Month?