Training time: January focuses on importance of dog training

    Dog sitting outside. Photo: Pixabay

    They say even old dogs can learn new tricks and January is the perfect opportunity to do so.

    The Association of Professional Dog Trainers dedicated this month to the importance of training.

    They chose this month because so many dogs and puppies are adopted or purchased during the winter months.

    While commands like sit, stay and roll over can be easily taught, it is also important to teach what APDT calls “real life” training.

    That means training your dog and reinforcing behaviors during everyday scenarios.

    You can do this by taking your dog on shopping trips when possible. There are many stores and businesses that will allow pets. Take this opportunity to practice walking on a leash and sitting. Take your pet on car rides and practice stays and getting out of the car during this time.

    When you can, take your dog to pick up your children at school. Arrive early and use this time to show your dog how to behave. Once the children are out, the distracting atmosphere is a good time to reinforce commands like sitting and being calm while on the leash.

    Use your dog’s behavior to get them what they want. Make your dog sit or stay or do a trick in exchange for food, walks or belly rubs.

    Whatever the trick or behavior may be that you want them to do, remember to always use positive reinforcement. Reward positive behavior and ignore negative behavior.

    The APDT has provided helpful videos to train your dog.

    Find local professional trainers:

    Don't forget to submit your pet pictures to be featured Wednesdays in the #PetPals segment.

    Text KFOX14 to 95577 or upload them here:

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