It’s almost January which means it’s almost time for New Year’s resolutions to be set in place. This year, place a fresh focus on your health while ensuring your dog is continuing their training – even while at home. Dogtopia dogs receive learning through play while at daycare, it’s helpful to reinforce these learnings when outside of Dogtopia, too. With January being National Train Your Dog Month, here are a few ways to ensure your dog is maintaining the training they are prioritizing while at daycare. 

Practice Name Recognition 

Whether you’re calling your dog for dinner time, or they somehow got out of the house because a gate was left open, having your dog respond quickly to their name is imperative. Name recognition is a skill frequently practiced at Dogtopia because it is important for a dog to know and respond to their name. 

While at daycare, a Canine Coach will walk through the playroom and when on the other side of the playroom, the Canine Coach will call a dog by name. If the dog responds to their name by running over to the Canine Coach, the dog will be rewarded with verbal praise and positive pets! If the dog doesn’t respond to their name, the name recognition game is repeated until they recognize their name. Through repetition, a dog will learn their name and come when called – a useful skill in potentially startling situations. 

The same process can and should be practiced at home. When your dog is on the other side of the living room or an enclosed backyard, call their name. If they come when called, reward them with praise, pets, and maybe a tasty treat! After several rounds of coming when hearing their name called, this skill will be mastered, and you’ll feel more confident in situations should your dog find themselves loose in public. 

Reinforce Bark Control 

Dogs often get excited when meeting a new dog or person for the first time. Is your dog the type to let you know someone is at the door by barking? Dogtopia Canine Coaches work to combat barking so your dog will be more relaxed at home, even when the doorbell rings! 

How is this practiced at Dogtopia? When a dog plays with other daycare dogs, they are focusing their sights and energy on their BFFF (best furry friend forever) while remaining relaxed and at ease. At Dogtopia, a Canine Coach will reward this calm behavior with pets and verbal praise. If a dog is barking at another dog or a Canine Coach, the Canine Coach will redirect their attention to another dog until they stop barking. 

This skill can also be reinforced at home. If your dog is remaining calm while playing with a toy or lounging in the living room, provide them with pets, verbal praise and maybe a treat as a reward. When your dog is barking, do not give them the attention they are trying to receive from you but rather wait until they have collected themselves and praise them when they are no longer barking. 

Door Training at Home 

Dogs love to say hello to anyone and everyone walking through the door by jumping up on guests to show their “appreciation”, they may even try to run out the door when it’s opened. Sound familiar? Canine Coaches at Dogtopia work with dogs to prevent this behavior by playing a game which reinforces door control. 

Canine Coaches will draw a quarter-circle in chalk roughly one meter from the door used to enter and exit the playroom. The Canine Coach will stand in the quarter circle, praising and petting all dogs that remain outside of the quarter circle. If a dog steps into the quarter-circle, they are encouraged to step back which reminds the dog they will receive positive praise when they remain outside of the line. 

Would you like your dog to be better at door control? The good news is that door control can also be practiced and exercised at home. Allow your dog to approach the door when someone is about to enter. Before the door opens, praise your dog for allowing space between themselves and the door. If your dog becomes too close to the door, gently reinforce distance between themselves and the door. Once you or your guest enters the door and your dog remains out of the way of the swinging door, reward them with positive pets, praise and maybe a treat! 

Additional Perks of Daycare 

Dogtopia dogs spend their days playing with other likeminded dogs while practicing skills that can be utilized in any environment. By enrolling your dog at Dogtopia, your pup will learn through positive play interactions and gain confidence so they can be a well-behaved and well-trained and well-trained dog you’re happy to take with you anywhere and everywhere!  

As we enter a brand-new year, allow your dog to become the best version of themselves at Dogtopia. Find a location near you today.