Baseball fans know that spring training starts in February and goes until opening day, which is usually around the first week of April. During spring training, teams relocate to warmer climates in places such as Arizona and Florida. In baseball, spring training gives players a chance to try out for new positions and it provides practice time for players who will remain in a specific position.
If you haven’t done it already, think of a spring training program for your dog. Is this the time to start a daily walking program? How about a new sport? Athletic dogs can try agility or other active sports and if you plan on training throughout the summer, now is the time to start looking for indoor training locations if you live in a hot climate.
If you happen to live where it’s already in the high 80s during the day, this might be a good time to teach your dog to swim.
Here are a few tips for introducing your pup to a new sport:
- Set a reasonable goal. For senior dogs, AKC has Preferred Agility classes where jumps are lower, etc.
- Remember shaping — start slowly and gradually lengthen the time, distance, etc. of the activity.
- Keep training sessions short in the beginning. If your canine athlete is coming back after a winter of limited activity, don’t overdo it.
- Make training fun by using positive reinforcers, praise, and a happy attitude and voice.
If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be sure to hit a home run when it comes to training your dog.
Readers, are there any new sports or activities you plan on trying with your dogs this spring?