The New Year is typically a time for people to make New Year’s Resolutions to improve their lives. These resolutions might be to exercise more, eat a healthier diet, improve their relationships, find a new job or anything else they think will improve their lives or make them better people. One resolution for those with dogs might be to have a better trained dog or resolve a behavior issue that has been ongoing.

Rather than asking you to make any big resolutions you might not stick to, I am going to challenge you to do one thing. Teach your dog something new. Often times when training is not kept up as it perhaps should be, it is because we get bored with training. You can only practice so many sits, downs and stays before you get bored to tears. And most likely, so does your dog.

One thing that helps people stick to training is to keep things fresh and fun. Everyone will stay more interested if you add some variety into your training. Teach something practical or just a fun party trick to show off to friends and family. For example, “shake” might simply be a cute trick or a practical behavior for when you need to dry muddy feet, remove thorns, or trim nails. Fetch might be a fun way to play and burn off energy or a way to give your dog a job by retrieving the newspaper outside and bringing it in or finding your keys that you misplaced.

Dogs need mental exercise just as much as they need physical exercise, so learning new things is a way to help keep them active, learning and out of trouble. And it’s fun! If you need some ideas, look at my previous blog posts under the Category of Training, look at our upcoming classes, such as joining us for a Fun & Games Class (if you are in the Denver-Metro area of Colorado), check out our online training courses, or look up dog tricks online.

What new behavior are you going to teach your dog?