Keeping Your New Years Resolutions

newyeardogA big “thanks” to all of those who shared your New Years resolution. Not to my surprise many of your resolutions included more exercise and training for you and your dog.  I’m happy to hear this as that is what Doggie Adventures and Training is all about!  Telling Doggie Adventures and Training your resolution is the first step towards realizing your goals.  Here are a few easy tips on how to keep both your pet’s and your resolutions moving forward.

  1. Be realistic.  Do not overload yourself with 5 resolutions.  If you try concentrating on 5 ways that you would like to change there is a good possibility all will go to the waste side.  Limit yourself to no more than 2 new resolutions and stick to them.
  2. Make measureable goals.  This is about being specific and tracking your goals.  Instead of saying ‘I want a better behaved dog’ say ‘I would like to teach my dog to heel’ or ‘I would like to get my dogs Canine Good Citizen certification’.  Give yourself a time frame and track your progress.  For example, if your goal is to train your dog to heel your time frame may look something like this.
    1. January 7th– have a consultation with a trainer to teach me how to train my dog to heel.
    2. January 28th– Dog is walking on a loose leash in my neighborhood.
    3. February 25th– Dog is walking on a loose leash at the park and beach.
    4. April 28th– Dog is heeling for 10 minutes at the park with distractions.
    5. July 1st– Dog is heeling on all our walks at various locations.  GOAL IS COMPLETE!
    6. Commit.  Tell everyone you know about your resolution.  Have a friend commit to the same resolution so you can work with each other.  Enroll in a class.  Knowing that you have a paid, once a week commitment with others is a great motivator.
    7. Make your resolution fun!  Going back to point 2, instead of stating in general ‘I’m going to train my dog’ state I am going to train my dog how to ‘shake their paw’ in January.  ‘Wave’ to my friends in February.  ‘Weave’ between my legs in March.  Play ‘find it’ in April and so on.  Now doesn’t that sound like fun?!  You’ll have 12 new behaviors by the end of the year AND you’ll have an entire month to train each behavior.
    8. Don’t beat yourself up.  If you miss a week of training or exercise who cares!  Take a look at your schedule that you made in tip 2 and get back to the fun.
    9. Reward yourself and plan ways to celebrate your success.  As we teach in training, behaviors that are rewarded will increase.  Upon completion of a goal, as outlined in number 2, celebrate!  Go out to dinner and bring home some left over’s to your dog.  Go to the beach an extra day that week.

Resolutions can be life changing!  If you follow the above tips you can keep your New Years resolution and be proud that you did!  Let Doggie Adventures and Training know how we can help!

Happy 2012

Happy Training