Why is January National Train Your Dog Month? Well, when the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) enacted the Train Your Dog campaign back in 2010, no other month seemed more appropriate than January. Why? Because of all the dogs that are purchased or given as gifts during the holidays! January is often the time when there is a sharp influx of brand new dog owners – many of them seeking guidance for training their dogs. But unfortunately, that also means there is an increase of dogs being surrendered at dog shelters.
People often have the best intentions when buying or adopting a dog, but when reality sets in with the little pup, sometimes they’re just not prepared for it. Handling a new dog (especially puppies) can be a daunting task that comes with many challenges that owners are simply not able to handle. Problems with destruction, house training, and many other behavior issues may arise and overwhelm new pet parents and leads to owners feeling like they have no choice but to put their new pets up for adoption because they don’t know what to do.
Which is where National Train Your Dog Month comes into play. The hope is to spread awareness to new pet parents about the importance of proper training for their new dogs. Investing the time, energy, and money into training can create a happy and healthy environment for not only your pet, but for the entire family as well. Dogs thrive in the security of proper training – and it’s not only the dog that receives this training. Human family members need it just as much. Once you learn what you’re supposed to be doing when interacting with your dog, it’ll help form those strong, healthy bonds.
Be sure to take the time to find a trainer that’s a good fit for your family. Do your research to make sure you find a reputable one that has the proper credentials. Talk to your friends and find out who they’ve used and trust. Read reviews. Look for trainers that have proved themselves to know what they’re doing and have a good reputation. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of training sessions and see for yourself if they’re what you’re looking for. Don’t forget to pay close attention to how they interact with the dogs – do the dogs seem happy, well trained, and healthy? Is the trainer covering all the topics you’re interested in? Do you feel like you will benefit from what they have to offer? Are they willing to answer questions and take the time to make sure all their clients are comfortable with the material covered? If so, they might be the trainer for you! However, if you’re not feeling comfortable with them, keep looking. Nothing is more important than creating a good foundation with your dog than the training.
In case you’re wondering, training is not just for puppies! If you’re looking into adopting an older dog, it’s still just as important. Whether your dog has received training in the past, and you’re looking for a bit of a refresher for you both, or your new bud seems to be lacking all manners entirely, dog training is a great tool to strengthen your relationship and build trust and structure. Your dog will appreciate knowing what is expected of him and understanding his or her boundaries.