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National Train Your Dog Month 2024: When It Is & How to Celebrate

Written by: Hanh Duong

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

Woman training a pitbull in the park

National Train Your Dog Month 2024: When It Is & How to Celebrate

When January arrives, people will often work harder to maintain their New Year’s resolutions. Interestingly, January is also National Train Your Dog Month, so dog owners often resolve to pick up a new skill with their furry companion alongside their personal goals. This is the time of year when dog experts, owners, and trainers come together to share their knowledge, and social media sites turn into a goldmine of information, advice, and tips for training your canine.

In this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about National Train Your Dog Month and how to celebrate it.

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What Is National Train Your Dog Month?

The National Train Your Dog Month initiative was launched by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) in January 2010 in an effort to increase public awareness of the value of proper dog training and socialization for their well-being. So why January? The reason is that so many people adopt pups around the holidays, and many of these dogs are given up to animal shelters or abandoned shortly after. APDT is aware that training may be the deciding factor in whether a dog is able to stay in the home.

man trains little pomeranian
Image Credit: Gorodenkoff, Shutterstock

National Train Your Dog Month Activities

Cheers to Furry Fridays!

You can spend all Friday evenings with your four-legged friend in January. Take your canine for a walk in the park, visit a dog-friendly museum, or relax with some tasty treats for your best friend while watching a movie at home.

cavalier dog sleeping on owners lap
Image Credit: bane.m, Shutterstock

Teach New Tricks

Adding some fun to your everyday routine is the best way to celebrate the relationship you share with your animal during National Train Your Dog Month. A great way to do that is through trick training. Consider a simple and entertaining trick, such as shaking hands, rolling over, standing up, or fetching.

Share Moments on Social Media

You can set challenges and share photos and videos of your dog’s achievements with other animal lovers to build a greater dog training community.

owner taking a photo of his male husky dog wearing a bandana
Image Credit: Beach Creatives, Shutterstock

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Why Is “National Train Your Dog Month” Important?

A Little Support Goes a Long Way

There are many dogs that have to be given away every year because their owners were unable to train them and found it hard to live with their furry members. But did you know most dogs with behavior problems sent to shelters can be fairly easily resolved through proper socialization and training?

You can find that hundreds of pets that people adopt or buy during the holidays wind up in shelters. Because of this, January is the ideal month to encourage new and even experienced pet owners to spend enough time training their four-legged companions.

National Train Your Dog Month can give you the motivation and needed information to effectively train your dog and develop a loving bond with them. However, training is a lifelong process, so you should keep it up!

A Community Is Important

Knowing that you’re not alone is always helpful. Thanks to this month-long event, you can meet many other owners who have a lot in common with you. Sharing stories, having fun, listening to webinars from industry professionals, or viewing funny videos are very beneficial.

Training Is Bonding

smiling black woman training dog outdoors
Image Credit: Samson Katt, Pexels

Last but not least, keep in mind that training your pup is not only advantageous but also fun. Dogs need mental stimulation and adore the opportunity to learn and put new skills into practice. Training time is also quality time for you and your dog to connect, create priceless memories, and build a solid relationship.

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Do’s & Don’ts When Training Your Four-Legged Friend

What You Should Do

  • Reward your dog consistently, but only give it to them after they complete the job.
  • A well-trained dog says more about the trainer’s abilities than it does about the canine, so be kind and patient.
  • Give your pup some time to digest the instruction and follow it.
  • Once your dog has learned a command, practice it in various environments, such as busy streets or crowded areas, to ensure they always pay attention to you.
  • Avoid mixing up the commands you introduce to your pup. Teach them one at a time.

What You Should Avoid

  • Don’t negatively call your dog’s name because they may associate that name with the scolding.
  • Don’t reward your dog or give them attention if they behave badly.
  • Don’t use punishment.
  • Don’t make the training time too long.

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How to Find a Professional Dog Trainer

Are you looking for an excellent dog trainer to turn your pet into a well-behaved family member? If so, you need to do your research and give it some thought. Finding a trainer you can trust by word of mouth is a wise option. You can ask a friend for a recommendation for a trainer and the course they took with their pup. Another way is to call your veterinarian or a local animal rescue group for referrals to locate a reputable expert in your area.

chihuahua ongoing training with its owner
Image Credit: LNbjors, Shutterstock

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Regardless of what dog breed you have in your family, it’s critical to develop a positive relationship with them through training lessons. There isn’t a better moment to get your puppy started on the road to success than during National Train Your Dog Month in January. However, you can start training them at any time of the year since training at a young age is one of the best things you can do for your beloved animal as well as yourself.

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Featured Image Credit: YouraPechkin, Shutterstock

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