Monday: Practice every single one of your dog's commands and tricks with them and see if they're doing them all well. Be generous and reward them for their commands and tricks, even the ones they've been doing for years!
Tuesday: Teach a new command. Commands include things like sit, stay, heel, leave it, drop it, lay down, and other basic things like that, something every dog should probably know. If you aren't sure how to teach that certain command you've chosen, Google "how to teach your dog (insert command) with positive training". You could also check out positive trainer Zak George's YouTube channel (just search Zak George on YouTube) for videos on what you're trying to teach. I recommend you try clicker training out if you haven't already. Click here to read all about clicker training!
Wednesday: Teach a new trick! Spin, bow, fetch, shake...anything fun that isn't essential or extremely important. If you aren't sure how to teach a certain command, you could always Google it or check out Zak George's videos.
Thursday: Eliminate a behavioral problem your dog has. Your dog doesn't have to be a terribly behaved dog to have behavioral issues. I'm sure every dog parent has something they wish their dog didn't do. Things like pulling on the leash, barking at the wrong time, chasing the cat, guarding food and toys, and having anxiety when you're not in the room are some examples of behavioral problems. Remember, be especially patient with your dog on this day and be sure to remain a positive trainer on this day! Also, if your dog's behavioral issue is severe and dangerous to correct, I recommend you hire a professional trainer to work with you and your pup.
Friday: Practice your dog's training out and about! Head to Petsmart, the dog park, Home Depot, or a school bus stop. Really any place with lots of distractions will do. Practice your dog's commands in this busy environment and be sure to heavily reward your pooch when they do obey, even though they're tempted by distractions. You could also practice loose leash walking and helping your dog calm down in these situations.
Saturday: Have someone else handle your dog, someone who doesn't regularly handle or interact with your pup. A family member, friend, neighbor, or even a friendly person at the dog park will do. Have them ask your dog to do their tricks and commands and observe whether or not your dog remembers his manners when with that person. Remember to tell the person to reward your dog with treats that you give them when your dog responds well!
Sunday: Today is the day your dog will shine! In front of friends, family, or whoever happens to be in the house at the time, show off your dog's new command. If you've decided to try clicker training out, teach your family how it works and how it's helped your dog. Show off your dog's new fun trick and show them that one of his behavioral problems is gone. Simply talk about everything your dog has done this week and how training has made your relationship with your dog stronger.
It doesn't take long at all each day to work with your dog if you accept this challenge. If I didn't train Chris every day, we would be a lot less closer and we wouldn't communicate as well. Training has been something we can both bond over and we can both look forward to each and every day.
Who here will be accepting the challenge?