Spring training with your dog

by | Dog Care Interesting |

Guest post by PetLink, our Animal Wellness partner for the Change for Animals Conference

It’s Spring Training! What better way to celebrate the warmer season than perfecting tricks and training with your dog? We’ve teamed up with Holly Lewis, owner of Cold Nose Canine in Milwaukee, to help give some tips (and tricks!) on how to make the most of training with your pooch.

Holly Lewis:

Spring is finally coming nearer; temps are increasing, and the thaw is on over here in Wisconsin! Many of us have been sheltered over the winter and dedicating time to training with our dogs may have taken a back seat. Spring is here and it is time to get our training back in gear!

Reward Your Dog When They are Being Good

Noticing the little things your dog is doing well can add up to big things going well.  Don’t take the little things for granted.  It may seem small to you, but rewarding your dog with treats, toys, and praise can go a long way in building behavior.  Behavior that is reinforced is more likely to be repeated.

Set Your Dog and Your Environment Up for Success

Think ahead and be prepared as much as you can.  Build skills slowly, adding distractions slowly and methodically.  Recall is a classic example.  Often, we learn the command “come” when called in class and practice the skill in our home or yard. Then, we go to the dog park and call our dog to us, getting frustrated when it feels like the dog does not respond.  What has really happened is the level of difficulty and distractions was increased too quickly. When this happens, it’s not surprising when they look at us with a confused face!  Step back and restart where your dog can be successful. Build up to the dog park commands!

Always Rinse and Repeat

Practice, practice, practice.  Think of each behavior we teach our dogs as having its own jar.  There is a jar for sit, down, stay, etc.  Each time we practice a skill successfully, imagine putting a marble into the jar for that behavior.  The more marbles in each jar, the stronger the behavior will be.

Quick reminder: mistakes are ok!  We’re only human.  Learn and observe for the future.

Still Striking Out? Find a Coach to Assist

Need more help or fresh set of eyes?  Look for a positive, force free trainer to help break down the training process into manageable and successful steps.

Follow these steps and you will be sure to hit a Home Run with your dog!

Learn more about the Change For Animals virtual conference here.


Speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves

Keep up the good work speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves. A society who cares for their animals is a better society.  Thanks for your good work!