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January is National "Train Your Dog" Month - Five Benefits to Training Yours

January is ‘National Train Your Dog Month’ and the Animal Rescue League of Boston is offering a 50% discount for ARL alums and 10% off for Boston Veterinary Care clients for dog training classes.

Here are 5 Benefits of Training your Dog from Kim Melanson CPDT-KA
Behavior Counselor at the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Freedom:  A well behaved dog can have an enriching life by spending more time with his family.  He can hang out with visitors, go places with you and join in on family activities. If your dog has learned some basic house and outdoor manners, he will not jump all over guests or bother them too much. He can ride in a car safely, go to a relative’s house and settle, go to the park or the beach for an outing and come back when called.

Bonding:  With just a few minutes a day of active training and adding some training into every day activities, you and your dog can learn more about each other and have fun. The benefits of Positive Reinforcement Humane training are abundant. Both human and dog enjoy the training, they teach each other and learn from each other, creating trust and an enriching and lasting relationship.

It lets your “dog be a dog”:  Dogs like to do natural things that sometimes do not fit well in the human home such as; chewing, jumping, chasing, and digging. Training them in an appropriate way to have their fun lets them to do ‘doggie’ things and lets you join in too all while making sure they do not disturb the household in a negative way. Train your dog to chew on dog chews and toys instead of shoes and pillows, sit for greetings and attention instead of jumping, playing ‘find it’ with treats and stuff Kongs instead of digging, and retrieving balls with a drop for chasing. Not only will your dog be happier but you will have fun too!

Burns mental energy and relieves boredom:  Positive training promotes thinking in dogs and humans and a thinking brain can relieve excess energy. A few minutes a day can really help your dog rest well and not seek out other ways of burning energy that may be destructive. Teaching tricks is a great one to do on a rainy day, kids and friends love seeing your dog do tricks.

Keeps dogs in their ‘Forever’ Home:  Many dogs are surrendered to shelters for behavior problems and just being too much to handle for the owner. A well trained dog stays in her forever home because she has become part of the family and is a joy to live with. She can also become an ‘ambassador’ for dogs everywhere. There are public places, apartment buildings and areas that are banning dogs and some people are frightened of dogs. If our dogs are well behaved in public, people see that we can keep dogs as an integral part of our society and families.

Training obedience cues of sit, down, stay, drop, come and more are great for dogs to learn, but training also means teaching your dog to live in a human household and beyond. House training, learning to settle, go to a mat or crate, to chew appropriate chews, to play appropriate games, to walk on leash and polite greetings for people and dogs are the cornerstones of a well mannered and well liked family dog.

The Animal Rescue League of Boston offers many dog training classes that review basic and advanced cues, along with house and outdoor manners. We also offer some dog sports and fun agility classes. We are offering a 50% discount for ARL alums and 10% off for BVC clients. For more information about our Boston classes check out our schedule.

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Sandy February 02, 2013 at 05:32 AM
Dog owners need to wake up and understand that dog waste is toxic to human health. Thank you Karen Giordano Catizone for sharing that information. Also, have you heard about "Cat Lady Suicide" ...search it.
Sandy February 02, 2013 at 05:36 AM
BHD needs to fine dog onwers violating are health. Eliminate dog fouling in public.
Dan February 02, 2013 at 02:14 PM
Sandy - How many people got sick in Boston or even New York city over the last five or ten years that could be traced to dog waste? Nope not a one! OK, How many people got sick from lack of human hygiene serving food (just in Boston alone is about 2,000 reported cases in 2012, and likely more not reported (per Mass Health & Human Services). Are we not in the middle of a flu & no-var outbreak. How is that transferred between people? Not by dog poop! Just in Boston, close to ten people have died. That is not to say you can't get sick from your pet, in the scale of things dog or cat poop is not even in the top 100 health threats. A pet owner them selves are at a greater risk then the general public and that is still very rare. Why is that? Because most people pickup their dogs mess. Yes, some don't and THAT IS THE CRIME! because these folks are the ones that could pass something to all of us (including our dogs!) If they don't maintain their dogs or cats health and don't keep them clean. I think we need to make the fine much higher than the $30 it is today for leaving a mess. A $100 should make it more attractive for the police to ticket offenders. And, $20 for a dog license and $200 if the dog is found not to have one (currently just $7). All of this money needs to be put to creating and maintaining dog friendly spaces & parks. People need to yell at these folks for not cleaning up not blasting the people that are good owners. Remember, I'm a dog owner.
John February 02, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Dan, you still dont get it. Its not about cleaning up after your pet, its about completely stopping dog owners from using the streets for their dog to mess. The streets are not a dumping ground for dogs. You need to use your own property. If you dont own property then dont put the burden on the public. You are what makes society rotten these days because you were never taught respect as a child.
Dan February 02, 2013 at 08:07 PM
Why do you think that makes sense here? Public space is for all to use. If people are cleaning up why does it matter in your mind. Health issues? That makes no sense. The environment by nature is unhealthy.

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