Training is a crucial part of a pet parent relationship. Not only can formal training improve communication between you and your pet, but it can also provide your pet with mental stimulation and exercise.
Many pet parents seek training when they bring a new puppy into their lives, but there are several other times throughout your dog’s life where it is not only appropriate, but encouraged to seek additional training, or even start training for the first time.
Here are some key transitions in my opinion:
There is that old saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Frankly, I think this saying is antiquated and untrue. If you adopt an adult dog, of any age, you have an opportunity to establish a strong bond right away. The best thing you can do to help your dog get used to your schedule and create a new relationship is to attend a training course, and yes, try to teach them new tricks.
When we adopted Rooney, we immediately signed up for a training course, which focused on basic training. I have to say, Rooney’s transition into our home was smooth. He very quickly picked up on our routine and adjusted to our living schedule and lifestyle.
FALL/NEW YEAR REFRESH
I like to think of the Fall as the perfect time to refresh. Similar to January 1st, I feel like the start of the Fall is a great time to evaluate your yearly goals and refocus after the summer. I am not sure if I feel this way because I was a student for many years, or if it’s because I love the Fall season, but I do feel like this is a great time to get motivated before the chaos of the holidays.
Not to mention, many pets experience a change when kids go back to school. Summer is a time when kids and parents are home more often, and more daylight means more walks and activities. Suddenly, all that goes away and if your dog is very close with your kids, this can be a rough time of year. What a great opportunity to sign them up for a training class and distract them from the lull in the home with new activities and training.
Life is full of transitions. For example, many of my friends and family are welcoming babies into their home right now. Additionally, many families moved this summer, maybe to a new neighborhood or even to a new state. These life transitions can be very stressful for pets. If you think about it, you may be drastically changing their routine and their surroundings.
Signing them up for a training class can help them establish confidence in their new surroundings or routines and might even provide them with the mental and physical outlet necessary to help them relax.
In conclusion, don’t think of training as a one-time course or activity, but use training as a tool to help your pet transition.
When did you sign your dog up for training? Would you recommend a refresher course to other pet parents?
Rachel Sheppard is the author and founder of My Kid Has Paws. She is a Social Media Manager, blogger, corgi mom, animal lover, volunteer, graduate student, and shoe collector.
After graduating from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science & Management, she worked as a Veterinary Assistant for 3 years. Her daily interactions with pet parents inspired her to start her blog focused on pet health, pet rescue, and pet products. She has a true enthusiasm for veterinary medicine and animal science, and enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with pet parents.