January is Train Your Dog Month (TYDM).
We introduced you to what TYDM is, and also got you organized and ready to teach your dog. The preliminary work is done, now let’s decide what exactly you’d like to teach your dog.
There are so many things to teach, it’s helpful to narrow your options in the beginning.
- Do you want to stop some bad habits?
- Would you rather teach your dog a cool trick?
- Or is your highest priority teaching your dog good manners?
Smart Dog U has designed a worksheet to help you narrow your choices.
If you want to stop a bad habit, the first thing you have to decide is this: what do you want your dog to do instead of the bad habit?
For example: let’s say you want your dog to stop jumping on people. Excellent idea! So how do you translate that into something that you can teach? You figure out what to teach your dog. I think a perfect solution to jumping is to teach your dog to sit. A sitting dog can’t also be a jumping dog. Sometimes it helps to describe what “the perfect dog” would look like when guests came over.
If you want to teach a cool trick, pick one (see the worksheet link above) and then break down the trick into tiny, teachable pieces. Don’t worry, we’ll get deeper into how to teach tricks in a future post.
If you want to teach good manners, make a prioritized list of the things you want your dog to learn.
Your homework is to download the worksheet and decide what to teach.
After you decide what to teach your dog, we’ll teach you how to do it! Stay tuned for the next installment of Train Your Dog Month!
Jessica Rhae says
I would like to train Chester and Gretel “better leash manners”. Specifically, I want them to not freak out on other dogs when passing them on the trail. I have has some success with the “leave it” command but I know I am doing it all wrong. I tighten their leashes so they HAVE to walk next to me (which, normally, is not safe when hiking…they need to be in front on narrow trails), placing them on the side of me opposite the dog, and shouting “leave it” from about 10 feet before and after we pass the dog.
Laurie Luck says
Haha, your comment makes me laugh. Yes, leash manners tops the list for lots of us, even dog trainers! We had big Schooner out yesterday and I had to get off the road so another dog walker could pass. He’s so big and imposing, and the other dog was so little, I thought the owner would appreciate my moving him. And of course, he’d have done just fine if I’d have let them greet, but he’s 150 pounds, I realize it’s scary to trust a dog that you don’t know.
I’m always looking for good ideas for training videos, so I’ll put your leash manners and leave it on my list of to-do’s! Thanks for stopping in!