I think this is a great idea, and when I sat down to write this post, I started thinking about all of the cute and clever things my dogs can do. Sitting, giving high 5s, backing up, holding a stay.... All of these little tricks are crowd pleasers. And they come in really handy. When my dogs are nervous or somehow excitable, I can ask them to throw out a quick trick as a confidence boost.
But then I got to thinking.
When I had Sinead in my shy dog class, one of our classmates asked several questions about improper puppy peeing. She couldn't get her dog to tell her when he needed to go out. And as a result, this guy did a lot of peeing in the house.
Training helps with that. And I have a great idea anyone could start this month.
- Pick one door you'd like your dog to use when he/she needs to go outside.
- Hang dog bells (anything that is loud and rings easily will work, including Christmas decorations) at your dog's snout level by that door.
- When your dog is standing by the door, shake the bells and say "ring, ring!" Then, push the pup outside.
- Watch carefully.
- If the dog has gone potty outside, hand out a cookie when the pup comes back to the door.
Most dogs, including mine, pick up on this routine within a matter of weeks. But there is a little finessing involved. Smart dogs will begin ringing the bell repeatedly in order to get a cookie. Handing out treats ONLY when the dog goes potty can help with that.
So what do you say? Think this is a good trick for January? If you give it a shot, leave me a note in the comments. I'd love to know how it worked out for you.
And for other great ideas about Train Your Dog Month, click here.