January is National Train Your Dog Month so I thought I’d chat with the inventor of puppy classes and founder of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (among many, many other things), veterinary behaviorist and author, Dr. Ian Dunbar.
Ian believes that the very best way to train your dog is to incorporate training into your daily routine. He also believes it’s important to consider the dog’s point of view when training, to gain insight as to what each dog in particular finds most enjoyable so that you may then use these favorite things (food, toys, people, or activities) as both distractions and rewards in training.
In this podcast, Ian offers several easy and enjoyable ways to honor both your dog and National Train Your Dog Month including his very favorite exercise “The Dog Walk”.
This exercise takes your average daily stroll to a whole new level. For example, most dogs love sniffing and exploring. Rather than getting annoyed when your dog wants to stop and sniff on a walk, why not intersperse little bursts of heeling, loose-leasing walking, and general attention, with the reward of a few minutes of sniffing and ranging. Now your distraction has become a beautiful life reward and you don’t have to tell your dog that sniffing is verboten.
Training in this way helps handlers to get the very best performance out of a dog because incorporating their favorite things into the teaching process provides as part of the motivation for doing our bidding (which may often including doing things for us that are not intrinsically rewarding for dogs).When you integrate fun into training the line between the two blurs and your dog will enjoy training in and of itself, rather than seeing fun and training as mutually exclusive.
Ian also talks about his first dog Omaha, reminisces about his favorite dog book, and why he’d rename National Train Your Dog Month if it were up to him. He also implores you to please, train your dog!
Listen in and join us for this, and so much more!