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A Note to Juniors
By Sarah J. Kiely

Dear Juniors,
Training your dog must be fun!! It shouldn’t be like a punishment, more like a reward. When you train your dog, practice with various distractions, like sounds and/or other people, slowly add other distractions, like other dogs in the picture, but keep your dog focused on you the best you can. Take your dog to the park and anywhere else you can (I also take my Sheltie, Allie Oop, to my grandmother’s nursing home, which has many, many sounds, wheelchairs and distractions. Allie Oop and I show in agility trials and she is awesome at it, and have made our way into AKC Excellent B STD and JWW) and socialize them well. Good socialization will benefit all who are around that dog. When you are training, train for short periods of time, then it won’t seem like a chore and you and your dog will really enjoy training. If you have a young dog or puppy, you want to keep them amused and concentrating throughout your training sessions. I would suggest using toys when you are training, but if you get your dog’s favorite treat, they’ll love ‘ya for that too. Also, you want to keep your dog motivated and energized throughout the training session. Focused and ready to go!! Another very important note is that when you are training your dog, keep a positive attitude, no matter how hard it may be, always use positive reinforcement, NEVER yell at them or strike them. If you use negative reinforcement, your dog will remember that and will scare them, and then they will not want to train at all and will become afraid of you. Remember, most important, keep training a fun experience, simple, and make sure you always have a positive attitude and the rewards will be huge!!