January is a busy and critical time for new dog owners. This is the “make it or break it” period when dogs have either found their “forever homes” or are left at shelters.
Training above all should be positive and reinforced daily, even if only for a few minutes at a time. Veterinarians recommend even-handed training with positive rewards such as food, praise and play. Choking and forcing is definitely a thing of the past. And electric collars should never be used to train a puppy.
Above all, training should be a special stress-free time when you can learn to communicate with your dog and revel in his abilities thanks to your efforts. The time you invest will improve the quality and enjoyment of your pet and hopefully build a bond to last a lifetime.
Dorice Stancher, CPDT-KA
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers
The APDT is a professional educational organization of trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through using positive, dog friendly methods based on sound scientific principles. With over 5,000 members worldwide, the APDT provides professional dog trainers with a respected and concerted voice. The APDT promotes caring relationships between dogs and people and works to increase public awareness of dog-friendly training techniques. For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.apdt.com.