January is National Train Your Dog Month! Training is a very important part of being a dog owner; it teaches discipline, provides mental stimulation and bonds the two of you. But we know training isn’t always as simple as snuggling up with your pup…it takes time and energy from both you and your dog. Thankfully you’re in luck! This month training your dog will really pay off if you enter our Train Your Dog Contest…get all the details here!

Here are our best 5 tips for training your dog (and winning our contest)!

1. Be Patient

Training takes energy, effort and TIME! When you’re training your dog (puppy or adult), you are changing their behavior; it will take more than one attempt. You’ll want to start with the basics (think sit…stay…) and build on those achievements. You are communicating with an animal that does not speak the same language as you! Your dog wants to understand, but give them time to understand your expectations and commands…be really patient!

2. Never Blame Your Dog

We mentioned that patience is key; along with that comes your attitude with training. Always keep a positive attitude when training (and talking to) your pet…refrain from yelling or scolding and never blame your dog! When you offer positive reinforcement for even the smallest accomplishments, dogs will be more likely to repeat those positive actions because they aim to please you!

3. Train at the Right Time

Dogs (especially puppies) have a LOT of energy; they will listen and train much better after releasing some of it. Take your pup for a long walk or visit the dog park before you plan to train to ensure they’ve gotten plenty of exercise and they’ll be ready to listen and you can make the most out of your training session.

4. Use the Right Treats

You’ll be amazed at how much harder your dog will work for a high-value treat that they love! The treats you choose to use will impact the success of your training. Rewards like Freeze-Dried Tripe or Rabbit Bites are perfect for training because of their size (small enough to toss to any size dog), ingredients (100% all meat) and packaging (convenient resealable bags).

5. Give Praise

If the treat comes more than a few seconds after your pup has done what you’ve asked, they have no idea what they did to earn it…or you may have inadvertently reward the wrong behavior. While your dog will be happy to take it, you failed to reward what you were teaching. Also remember to always use a happy and upbeat tone when rewarding!

 

Follow these five steps to training your pup and you’ll be well on your way to a well-behaved and trained dog! And don’t forget to document the training process and post a photo to your Instagram story or feed using #TricksforVEtreaets: get all the details on our Train Your Dog Month contest!