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New Year, New Bonds: Deepening Your Relationship with Your Dog

Happy New Year, fellow dog lovers! As we step into this fresh chapter, many of us are considering ways to improve ourselves and our lives. This year, why not focus on deepening the bond with your furry best friend?

Embracing your dog's unique personality and enjoying activities they love can create a stronger, more loving relationship. It's about creating beautiful memories, giving your dog choices and agency, and understanding them on a deeper level.

This January, let's all kick off with playing the SMARTx50-game with our pups!

🐾 SMART x 50 Dog Training Game Summary 🐾

Created by Kathy Sdao, the SMART (See Mark And Reward Training) x 50 is more than just a training approach; it's a way to enhance communication and understanding between you and your dog. It focuses on capturing and rewarding behaviours that are beneficial for both of you.

Here's your guide to playing SMART x 50:

  1. #UnderstandTheBasics: Get to grips with the principles of See, Mark, and Reward Training.

  • "See" ➡️ Spot the behaviour you desire.

  • "Mark" ➡️ Use a clicker or specific word (like "yip") to acknowledge the behaviour.

  • "Reward" ➡️ Provide a treat, praise, or toy immediately after marking.

  • Gather your essentials: a clicker, 50 tiny treats, and a quiet space.

  • Choose behaviours you'd like to see more often, such as:

  • Resting on their bed

  • Playing with toys

  • Sitting calmly when leashed

  • Observing neighbors without barking

  • Walking away when they're done being petted.

  • Keep a close eye on your dog for these natural behaviours.

  • Use your marker right as the behaviour happens.

  • Quickly follow the marker with a treat or praise.

  • Engage in this cycle daily. Divide 50 treats among family members and ensure they're all used by the day's end to reward and capture desired behaviours.

  • Stay consistent with your rewards.

  • Foster a calm and encouraging environment for your dog's learning.

Remember, the beauty of SMART x 50 is its adaptability. You can apply it to a variety of behaviours and situations. This game sets our dogs up for success and makes learning an enjoyable experience for both parties.

As we embrace this new year, let's commit to training and truly connecting with our dogs. Understand them, cherish them, and grow with them. They're not just pets; they're family.

Here's to a year of wagging tails, wet noses, and unwavering companionship!


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