It’s 2015. Maybe you’ve resolved to be healthier or have a cleaner house or be better behaved. Maybe that last resolution is for your dog…

By dedicating a few extra minutes each day on training your faithful companion, you’re sure to get the year off to a great start. We all need help in training our puppies/dogs, we want to feel happy in the knowledge that they are trained properly! And your dog won’t mind either; after all—training means treats!

Puppy Pushups
Dogs need mental stimulation. You might play hide and go seek, or provide stimulating ‘find-the-treat’ toys, but nothing takes the place of some old fashioned puppy training. Whether it’s too cold to play outside or you’re just not able to get your dog out for a walk today, training provides an outlet for bored dogs, and a better-mannered dog to boot. If your pup is busting at the seams with excitement, try some puppy pushups to help tire her out:

1. Sit. Start with the basics: Move a treat above your dog’s head, but keep it close. As s look up, many dogs naturally sit. If they back up instead, try backing them against the wall so their only option is to sit to keep watching the treat. As soon as their rear touches the floor, reward quickly and enthusiastically.
2. Down. Once your dog is in a sit, lower a treat to the ground. As soon as their elbows touch the floor, treat!
3. Sit.
4. Repeat steps 1-3, as needed.

Puppy pushups use of some of your pup’s mental and physical energy. Next time your pup nudges you or barks for attention, feel free to shift your focus to her. But then she does something for you—puppy pushups! Your pup is continuing to learn to take instruction from you, as well as practicing her sits and downs. This can also help greatly if your puppy has issues with relieving themselves outside, as training them to remain still during this would also give you time to put on their dog belly band, or other incontinence device.

Practice Makes Perfect
Training sessions, even just a few minutes long, give your dog a chance for some physical and mental stimulation. Training your pet comes with a plethora of other benefits as well:
*Whenever you spend quality time with your pet, you strengthen the bond between you. Your pet learns to trust you and look to you for direction.
*You get a closer look at your pet and how she thinks. Does she pick up new things quickly, or does she need some extra help?
*A better behaved, well-mannered pet. Both you and your guests will appreciate it.
*Fun party tricks. Have you ever seen a pet play dead on the ‘bang’ command?

By Rachel Leisemann Immel