Just a few days into the New Year, people are hard at work trying to keep their New Year’s resolutions. They’re working out at the gym, or making a tighter budget, or maybe creating an online dating profile.
But this January is also National Train Your Pet Month, so make a resolution to learn something new with your four-legged friend.
Help spread the word all throughout the month of January. Here’s what you need to know about National Train Your Dog Month.
What Is National Train Your Dog Month?
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) began their National Train Your Dog Month campaign in January 2010, hoping to raise awareness about the importance of proper pet training and healthy socialization to a dog’s well-being.
Why January? Because so many dogs and puppies are adopted around the holidays, and because a good number of those dogs are given up to animal shelters or abandoned soon after.
APDT understands training could be the one thing that makes or breaks a dog’s chance to stay with their family and in their home.
Training Keeps Dogs In Forever Homes
Though most people who get a dog do so with the best intentions, those who wind up surrendering their new pets to the shelter often do so because they just can’t cope with their dog’s behavioral issues.
Maybe the dog is hyperactive, yappy, or destructive. Perhaps they’re fearful, shy, lashing out, or behaving aggressively. Most often, it’s not because they’re bad dogs. It’s because they don’t have the tools they need to know how to behave appropriately.
Inexperienced owners might try temporary fixes that only make problems more severe, like isolation from the house and family, yelling, shock collars, or worse. By the time these dogs end up in a shelter, they’re confused and ill-equipped for life in a home.
That makes January the perfect month to remind pet parents, new and experienced, to take the time to train their furry friends. With consistency, well-timed praise and rewards, a level head, lots of practice, and the guidance of an experienced dog-training professional, you and your pooch will learn and grow all year long.
Finding A Professional Dog Trainer
Ask a friend about the training class they took with their dog, or if they can recommend a trainer. Chat with your veterinarian or local rescue organization to see what trainers they vouch for. Word of mouth is a great way to find a trainer you can count on.
Visit the websites of one of the several professional and education organizations for dog trainers and use their “find a trainer” databases to locate a reputable professional in your area.
Some helpful organizations include the APDT, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI), or the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), among others.
When you locate a trainer, ask them if you could sit in on one of their classes. While there, take time to observe a couple of things:
- Do the dogs seem happy? Their owners? Have a quick chat with some of the owners after class to get their overall impression of working with the trainer.
- What kind of skills will be covered over the duration of the class? What tools will be required (leashes, harnesses, treats, toys, clickers)?
- Does the instructor emphasize socialization in class? Do the canine participants get a chance to interact with one another?
- Is the training facility a safe and secure environment for you and your dog?
- Is the facility clean and sanitary? Does the trainer require proof of vaccinations from their students to ensure your dog will join a healthy class?
- Does the trainer use positive reinforcement techniques and denounce any sort of physical punishment? Talk with the trainer to get an idea of their training philosophy.
Learning Is Bonding
Lastly, remember that training your dog is not only beneficial; it’s also a lot of fun. Dogs thrive on mental stimulation. They love the chance to learn and practice something new.
However, more than anything, they will relish the opportunity to bask in your undivided attention as you work toward a common goal together.
Time spent training is time spent bonding, making priceless memories, and building a strong relationship between you and your dog. Isn’t that what having a dog is all about?
THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN FOR WEATHER CHANGE
COLD WEATHER PET SAFETY TIPS!
Brrrrrr – Grrrrrrr
How cold is too cold for your pets? Since the cold weather is on its way, consider your pets as they are in need of extra attention. The rule of thumb is, when the temperature is below 50 degrees, your pet can be cold and needing help.
All animals are not created equal. Coat type is a big factor for enduring cold temperatures. Huskies, Samoyeds, and other double layered coats are more acclimated to cold temperatures. Greyhounds and Chihuahuas with short coats suffer the most in cold weather.
Color, size, weight, age, and health also factors into how cold tolerant a pet can be. Small animals and thin animals get colder quicker than larger heavier animals. Sick and aged animals get colder quicker as well.
Take into consideration, wind chill, dampness, and activity level to determine if your pet is comfortable outside as cold nights last longer.
How to help your pet: The best option is to bring animals into the house. Animals love to be with their owners, socialize, and snuggle in during cold damp weather.
For other animals not housebroken, a barn, garage, or other weather proof enclosure will help a lot. If the animal has a dog house, the house should have a solid floor and have soft bedding to snuggle into. Old blankets, towels, and straw all make good insulating bedding.
If you notice your pet shivering, acting anxious, whining, slowing down, searching warm location, holding up a paw, it’s time to get your pet inside, help them get warm, and show them the love they give you!
A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it's deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to encourage feline hitchhikers to abandon their roost under the hood.
Madera Animal Services Mission
Madera County Animal Services is a county agency whose purpose is to provide humane and professional solutions for animal related problems, to encourage responsible behaviors, and to create a safer environment for people and animals to co-exist.
Through the collaborative and sustainable partnerships, we strive to improve the lives of the animals in our care through the community outreach and education, providing veterinary treatment and preventative care for animals in our shelter. Reuniting lost pets with their families and ensuring positive outcomes through adoption, rescue, or foster programs.
Check us out on Facebook at: Madera Animal Shelter
Madera County Animal Services Staff/Volunteer of 2019
Madera County Animal Services Officer's of 2019