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Celebrate National Train Your Dog Month with these tips – Shaw Local

Are you ringing in the new year with a new pet who needs some house training? Or do you already have a canine companion in your household who could use some polishing up on certain behaviors? Consider doing just in honor of January being National Train Your Dog Month. Established by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the initiative’s purpose is to raise awareness on the importance of socialization and training. Here are three tips for helping your four-legged friend become a better-behaved member of the family:

1. Be patient

Some pets may take a little longer to get the gist of potty training, walking properly on a leash, or barking less. To that end, don’t get frustrated when things aren’t going as planned. Instead, allot more time to make your objectives clear to your canine companion, or consider a different approach.

2. Use positive reinforcement

Many dogs are highly food-motivated, so food treats can work especially well when it comes to rewarding the right behaviors, such as going potty outside or coming on command. Additionally, lavishing praise on your pet can help him or her understand what behaviors are expected in your household.

3. Combat boredom

A bored pet is more likely to get into trouble. That’s why it is imperative to provide your furry friend with the right amount of exercise, such as daily walks or runs, swimming, or playing fetch. High-energy breeds may need several short walks or play sessions throughout the day. Besides better behavior, exercise can also help reduce the risk of obesity for your canine companion. Mental stimulation is also key. Consider nose work games or puzzles that make your furry friend have to work to find the treat.

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