January is National Train Your Dog Month

Golden Retriever Dog

If January is Dog Training Month, does that mean I get the rest of the year off?

When you look at the list of dogs available on Petfinder or Craigslist, what do you notice?

I see lots of ads for dogs between 5 months and 1 year old–only somewhat housebroken, sweet, but active and rambunctious and needing a big yard to run around in.

Every time I read one of those ads, I think of a harried mom, active kids, a busy dad, and a dear, sweet pup who doesn’t know what’s expected of him and doesn’t understand why he’s being sent outside, yelled at, or just ignored. After all, he only wants to have fun with his family.

With a little bit of training and socialization, this story could have a different ending–one that doesn’t end with an out-of-control adolescent dog moving from home to home looking for someone to provide the instruction he needs to live happily in a home. Or worse….

It’s just this kind of story The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) had in mind when they designated January as National Train Your Dog Month to promote the benefits of training.

Why January? Because January is the month when many families are getting acquainted with their Christmas puppies. The APDT feels that if they can get the word out far and wide that dog training is fun, results in a happier life for people and dogs, and can be learned with the help of thousands of positive-training professionals that just maybe some dogs will stay in their first homes.

I think it’s a great idea.

Here’s how you can help.

  • Share the news far and wide. You can find the APDT at Facebook to easily share National Train Your Dog Month with your friends (a great way to get the word out beyond the usual “dog-crazy” people hanging out reading blogs).
  • Enter the National Train Your Dog Month Photo and Video Contest. You and your dog could win prizes and your images can be shared to demonstrate the fun and importance of training.
  • Use some of the suggestions here, like writing a letter to your local paper or posting flyers.
  • Renew your own enthusiasm for training. Honey and I will be working this month in particular to prepare for the Canine Good Citizen test.

Discussions about decreasing the number of dogs destroyed in shelters generate a lot of heat and not much light. I think that promoting options that teach well-meaning but inexperienced families how to enjoy living with their dogs is something everyone can support.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Awesome goal, and something I’m constantly reminding people when they compliment me on Pompei’s behavior…You can have results like this as well but you have to be committed to doing so!

    • I find it’s a regular theme with me too when people compliment Honey. Many folks seem to think they come “right out of the box” that way.

  2. What a great idea! This is the first I’ve heard of this, but I’m going to do my best to make mention of it. I think it’s a really proactive way of helping to solve the problem!

    • I think this is only the second year but I’m excited too. I think it’s a great initiative.

      Thanks for spreading the news!

  3. I read about this just the other day and think it is an awesome idea. Because Shiva and I are out so often we frequently run into other with their dogs. Amazingly, we have gotten quite a few compliments on her behaviour. If they only knew… Anyway, I have given out names and numbers and websites of many great facilities and instructors in the city, sometimes twice, and I always wonder if people actually follow through. Training is vital for a good relationship with one’s dog. And it’s a lot of fun! I wish there was a way to show people what they are missing out on. Perhaps this National Month will help with that.

    Good luck with the CGC. Something tells me you have it in the bag.

    • It sounds like if people are complimenting you and Shiva, they are getting a good idea of how great a relationship with a dog can be. I too hope that people follow through with some training work. It is good fun!

      As for the CGC, we need some practice distractions. Honey finds walking by people and other dogs pretty tough. She’s such a social butterfly.

  4. What a great reminder. This makes me want to go home and do some training with our two wonderdogs right now!!
    I’m actually reading a super cool book, “Culture Clash” by Jean Donaldson, that was recommended to me by Vicktory dog Handsome Dan’s mom. It has some interesting behavior theory and explanation of how animals learn. Maybe I’ll try some of her techniques with our two pups this month!

  5. Although Culture Clash is a classic, I haven’t read it yet myself. Maybe you’ll share some things from it on your blog?

    Have fun with the wonderdogs!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kenzo. Kenzo said: January is National Train Your Dog Month http://bit.ly/giuIaj […]