How to stop Christmas hampering your dog training goals
There’s something so special about Christmas, especially if you have a dog.
At Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear, we’re so busy during the year that we relish the chance to take things more slowly, cuddling up on the sofa with our four-legged friends and enjoying some extra-long wintery walks.
But we’re also aware there can be a downside to the break in routine – your training efforts can fall by the wayside and all that progress you’ve been making can ground to a halt.
That’s why this blog is all about ways you can stop Christmas getting in the way of your training (and even use the extra time on your hands to your advantage)…
1. Stick to your normal training schedule
Even though your training classes might be off until the new year, you should still try to use that time to focus on training at home.
If you rely on the guidance of your trainer, then now could be the perfect opportunity to explore the training expertise available online.
YouTube can be a great source of information (but stick to the videos from reputable trainers who use reward-based training methods).
Why not take our free Power of Play course to keep you on track over the festive season?
2. Make the most of the chance to play
If you’ve got a couple of weeks off work, as well as going for some extra walks, take the opportunity to enjoy some extra play time with your dog.
A game of tug with your dog’s favourite Tug-E-Nuff toy is a great way to keep the bond between you strong and to sustain your close relationship ready for your new training challenges next year.
3. Keep treats under control
We’re all guilty of over-indulging during the festive period, and we’re not saying your dog shouldn’t have a few tasty treats too, but it’s really important to remember that treats should be used as a reward as part of your training.
You may well find that if you give in to the puppy-dog eyes too much over Christmas, you will undo your dog’s understanding that they need to work for their reward.
Try switching treats for a play reward. Using your dog's favourite tuggy to reward good behaviour is a great way to keep your dog active, healthy and happy with ease.
4. Keep Christmas stress-free
Whether it’s a visit from relatives with loud children or the bang of crackers at the dinner table, what’s exciting for us at Christmas can be distressing for some dogs.
We know that dogs learn best when they are relaxed and happy so it’s a good idea to do what you can to ensure your dog doesn’t feel overwhelmed. This might be as simple as plenty of cuddles and reassurance along with a ‘hiding’ place they can retreat to if they do feel stressed out.
5. Treat your dog to a new training toy
Don’t forget to wrap something up for your dog to include them in the fun of Christmas. All our Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear toys make ideal gifts and can be the perfect way to give yours and your dog’s training motivation a boost over the festive period. It is the time for giving, after all.