January is Train Your Dog month and Walk Your Dog month. As we begin a new year, I
encourage all of you reading this to do at least some basic training. It does not matter where
you got the dog from or how old the dog is, all dogs should be trained. Training should consist
of, at the very minimum, some basic commands. By training your dog, it helps the bonding
experience and also can help your dog realize his rank within the family. A dog needs to
understand that he/she is not "top dog" in the house.
There are many behavior problems that can be prevented by some basic training. Many times a
dog may end up at an animal shelter or abandoned because of a bad or unwanted behavior.
Most of these behaviors possibly could have been prevented or corrected if some basic training
were in place.
There are some good resources for training in our area. The doctors at Eastview Animal
Hospital encourage each and every one of you to reach out to one of these trainers listed:
Shadowland Kennels in Oskaloosa, Easy Dingo in Fairfield, or Pawsibilities in Ottumwa. All
three trainers have experience and education to stand behind their services.
The other topic that I want to bring up is walking your dog. One of the best things that you can
do for your dog's wellbeing is to take them for a walk every day. This does not include letting
your dog out in your yard. The length of the walk does not have to be miles (even a block or
two will do). Dogs enjoy the interaction with their owner and benefit from the exercise. Walking
can help prevent some unwanted behaviors in certain dogs. It is a chance for owners to have
quality time with their dog and provide health benefits to the human and the dog. Many dogs
will see this daily walk as their "job", something that many dogs need.
Both training and walking are part of the responsibility of owning a dog. The opinion of the
doctors at Eastview both are just as important as providing food, water and proper veterinary
Thanks for reading this month. Happy New Year!