It’s January. Which means you’re probably tired, stressed, and broke. And, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, cold.
Put it all together and you’ve got the Something Wagging Train Your Dog Month Challenge.
Can a month-long dog training challenge be low stress and fun?
Yes, yes it can. If I’m wrong, than Nothing Wagging This Way Comes.
What is the challenge?
Choose one activity or behavior to work on with your dog that will strengthen your relationship in some way.
Are there rules?
Of course. How else could I satisfy my power-hungry urges to boss people around?
- Choose one activity or behavior to teach your dog.
- Whatever you choose should benefit your relationship in some way. Interpret that as liberally as you’d like.
- Fit the training into your regular life schedule.
- Between January 31 and February 7, report on your experience by writing a blog post which will include a linky to all the other participants. The post should tell why you felt the activity would strengthen your bond and if it did.
- Don’t blog? Then post on Something Wagging’s Facebook page or send a paragraph by email to be published on Something Wagging This Way Comes.
- You don’t have to tweet or post on Facebook about the Challenge but it would be nice.
- Leave a comment below if you plan to take part. I’m going to see if I can figure out how to make a badge and if you comment, I’ll follow up if I get one.
Are there prizes?
On February 8, at 9:00 a.m. EST, I will choose one of the participants at random and make a $50 donation to the animal welfare cause of their choice.
What are you doing for the challenge, Pam?
Although I know I won’t accomplish this in one month, my activity is to work toward getting Honey more comfortable with our Doggy Ride bicycle cart.
Now that we no longer have a car, Honey’s fear of the bicycle cart prevents us from doing more things together. Trips to the dog park? Hikes at the State Parks? Days at the Beach? They’re all dependent on finding a new form of transportation.
I don’t think January is too soon to start if we want to hit the parks in June.
Any last suggestions or inspirations?
The APDT is offering webinars and Facebook chats by trainers the entire month of January. Check them out for some professional tips.
As for amateur tips:
- Don’t sweat the challenge too much.
- Build it into your life.
- You don’t get more points for being perfect or completing your goal. Just do your best.
- Use it as a chance to think about what would improve your relationship—being able to walk better on leash, finding a new game to play together, having better manners when guests visit.
- If you’re working with a foster dog, consider an activity that will bond your animal to his next person.
I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.
And I wasn’t kidding that I’d like this to be fun and guilt-free.
Put it in your comment or send me an email.