Did you know that January is National Dog Training Month? I just found that out the other day.
We have a dog, Espn (pronounced Es-pin). He’s never been formally trained. We considered it when he was a puppy but at that time training classes were not in our budget. He can do things like “sit”, “stay” and “come”. He also knows “up”. And we trained him to go on the ottoman when we say the word “ottoman”. The ottoman is where we send him when he’s annoying the cats. It’s like a time out location.
One of our neighbors has a beautiful German Sheppard. That dog is trained so well it’s almost to an extreme. We’ve never seen the owner play with the dog. Even when the dog is at rest he sits at attention. I don’t know he even knows how to play. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a well behaved pet, but I also think he should be allowed to have fun too.
I would love to get our dog lessons now, but he’s a bit of a grumpy old man. He’s used to being around cats, not other dogs. When other dogs approach him and bounce around him like puppies will do, he gets scared and will nip at another dog. If it wasn’t for that I would take him to get lessons. I think he could stand to learn some obedience.
Socialization is just as important as housebreaking and good behavior.
Here is a little more information about the importance of socialization from our friends at PetSmart.
For families with a new dog in their home, getting started with this essential training should begin right away. In fact, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) takes the position that puppies can start their first socialization classes as early as seven to eight weeks, and seven days after the first shot and deworming treatment.
“Before 12 weeks is the best window for meeting new people, other dogs and taking in new experiences that will inform puppies’ future behavior and reactions,” said Debbie McKnight, a PetSmart training expert.
Puppies that socialize with other puppies, dogs and humans develop into healthy, confident dogs. A dog that hasn’t been properly socialized may startle easily, bark at a certain type of person or clothing or react poorly to other new experiences in the future. This type of interaction is especially important during the winter months, when dogs spend a lot of time indoors.
Good socialization is an everyday commitment. Here are some ways to create a healthy environment for your four-legged friend:
- Play: Attend scheduled classes and find times for interactions with adult dogs that are tolerant and healthy, as well as other puppies.
- People: Allow the puppy to meet as many people as possible within their comfort level. The pet parent needs to be an advocate for his or her puppy and not allow petting if it makes the puppy nervous.
- Experiences: Expose the puppy to different surfaces, sounds and other situations.
Tips for Good Play
“Good play involves give and take from both dogs,” McKnight said. “The important part is that all parties are having a good time.” Here are some tips to make the most of playtime:
- If the pet parent is worried the play may be getting too rough, try moving away the more assertive puppy. If the less assertive puppy moves to keep the play going, they are probably both having fun.
- Tug toys can be used if there are no signs of aggression.
Helping Pets with Socialization
In support of National Training Month in January, PetSmart will host in-store, off-leash puppy play dates for $10 every Sunday in January to support puppy socialization. During the event, accredited pet trainers will narrate the playtime to help pet parents understand what they are observing. To participate, puppies must be between 8-16 weeks old. Vaccination and health requirements also apply.
If you would like to learn more about PetSmart training programs visit www.PetSmart.com/Training. To find a PetSmart location near you visit PetSmart.com.
PetSmart would love to give a lucky reader SIX training classes at their local PetSmart (puppy through adult dogs). Thank you PetSmart.
This giveaway is for US residents only and will end on January 17, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generatior from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win the puppy/dog training classes?
For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.
*I was not compensation for this post. I am sharing this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.