January is National Train Your Dog Month, so let’s talk about training tricks! We all know it’s important to teach your bud the basics like sit, stay, come, and lie down, but what about tricks like play dead, roll over, and high five? 

Trick training offers multiple benefits for both you and your pup. 

It Releases Pent-Up Energy

This can be an especially important benefit during long, cold winter months. We all know that it’s harder to get outside when it is cold and gets dark so much earlier, and on those especially cold days your pup may not be able to safely stay outside long enough to really burn off all of their energy. Trick training can help challenge your dog’s brain but can also use up some of that physical energy when doing tricks like spin or weaving. 

It Builds Strength And Stamina

Tricks can also help get your dog in shape! They can be used to build muscle strength or even to help your dog stretch out after a good workout such as a long walk or run. Teaching things like sit pretty, dance, or stand really helps your dog work on their core; while tricks like learning how to crawl or touch their nose to their hip helps them to stretch. 

Tricks Strengthen The Bond Between You And Your Bud

Taking a few minutes out of your day to work on your newest trick can help keep your bond with your dog strong. Some of the more difficult tricks will take patience to teach, and most of us can use a little more practice when it comes to our patience! Your pup is sure to love the extra time with your undivided attention too.

It Increases Your Dog’s Confidence

This one can be especially important if you have a more nervous pup. Not only can they gain confidence from the praise we heap on our smart puppers for learning a new trick, but it also gives them something positive to fall back on when he or she is in a new environment. If your bud is nervous meeting new humans, teaching something as simple as ‘shake a paw’ can help associate something they’re unsure about with a trick they know results in positivity (whether through treats, clicker training, or praise). 

It Makes Your Dog Smarter

Just like with people, our four-legged family members learn how to learn! This means that the more training you do with your pup, the faster they will pick up what you are teaching them. It also leads us as dog owners to be better teachers. It is important to keep your training sessions fairly short, usually 5-10 minutes at a time is best! 

It’s Fun For Both Of You! 

This one may be the most important of all, but trick training is fun!! Teaching your canine friend to play dead and being able to wow your friends and family feels great. At the same time, your dog is sure to love the positive attention they receive during training sessions, not to mention the delicious treats! The healthybud banana treats are a great training tool since they can easily be broken into small pieces, are low calorie, and your bud will go nuts for them!