Introducing the Sixth Category of Enrichment: Training
Here we are pet parents, just days away from the launch of the #PAW5EnrichedLifeChallenge, and we’ve finally hit our final level of dog enrichment — training! There is no limit to what you can teach your dog. All it takes is just a few minutes a day to give them needed mental stimulation and work on their latest skill or trick.
Training is also an incredible time to bond with your dog; you’ll work on building trust, rapport, some much needed listening skills, and even potential behavioral problems. Whether you’re just starting out with basics or you’re working on more advanced tricks, your pup will love the time with you and appreciate the opportunity to use her brain.
If you are focusing on the basics of training (sit, stay, come, drop, heel) remember you will need to be patient with your pup. If they’re just learning chances are they won’t get it right away; be persistent and the familiarity with these simple commands will become second nature for them. Another basic, yet very beneficial basic for them to learn is the right way to exercise with you, primarily jogging or running. You will both benefit from the physical activity and have the opportunity explore the world around you together!
If you’re working on more advanced levels of training, like nose work, agility training, or trick training, you will need to be more involved and active yourself, and it could require a bit more time. But as your dog’s skills increase, so should the challenges you present them.
No matter what level of training you’re working on with your dog, how old they are, or how active they are always remember to give them praise throughout the learning process; reward them and consistently reinforce their efforts. In then end, you will have a strong bond by learning to trust and communicate with each other.