January is Train Your Dog Month!
January is Train Your Dog Month!

Welcome to our very first blog! We will have a new topic every month...

Janaury is train your dog month! Puppy classes and puppy socialization are extremely important, but training often seems to end there! Puppy classes are a great foundation, but I am here to tell you that training should be a life long endeavor. A mentally stimulated dog is a happy dog! Training gives dogs purpose, focus, self confidence, and often eliminates numerous behavioral problems.

We have some amazing trainers in our area such as Sound Dog Training Center in Newport and Hole in the Wall Dog Training in Morehead City. Both training centers offer basic training classes for puppies and adult dogs. They can also help train YOU to handle behavioral issues as they come up. I often hear, "My dog is well behaved, so he doesn't need training". I disagree. I would encourage all pet owners to view training similar to sports. There are so many activities that pet owners can participate in to develop a stronger relationship with their pet and most importantly, have FUN! Dog sports keep us and our pets active and engaged. There are also avenues for competition in different dog sports. Sound Dog offers competition classes as well as classes just for fun. So what type of sports are available? What will your dog enjoy? I will list a few sports in this blog. It is by no means a comprehensive list but a good start. Typically, your trainer can guide you into an appropriate sport for your dog. 

Let's talk about Rally...because it is my FAVORITE! Rally is an AKC recognized sport that is similar to obedience but allows for more encouragement and interaction from the handler. Rally creates a great partnership between dog and owner as well as a firm foundation of obedience. While not a strenuous activity, it is mentally stimulating. This is a great activity for dogs that need an outlet but cannot tolerate strenuous activities. 

For those with very active dogs, agility may be the perfect sport! Any dog can participate in agility as long as they do not have any health issues. Consider the difference between simply running your dog versus training in agility where your dog has an outlet for energy yet is also developing focus, partnership, confidence, and obedience. Did I mention it is FUN! Below are a few pictures of one of our dogs playing in agility at the New Leash On Life prison training program. Roscoe is demonstrating a jump, A frame, and weave poles. 


Other sports include herding, obedience, tracking, barn hunt, trick training, and therapy work...the possibilities are endless!!! Your local trainer is a great resource for figuring out what activity would be the most fun for you and your dog! Here are the websites for two of our local trainers.



Informative websites: Here are some websites for more information!



www.domorewithyourdog.com  (website for trick training)

https://www.clickerdogs.com  (great resource for books, training tools, articles, etc)





Austin Veterinary

Jan 15, 2017