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Train Your Dog Month Challenge: Finding Success in Failure

Train Your Dog Month Challenge: Finding Success in Failure

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Train Your Dog Month has come and gone.

I started January with some pie in the sky goals about teaching Kolchak to love the dremel. The weekly grind has long been something I dread. A moment that, though necessary, drives a wedge in the bond between my dogs and myself. No wonder we all hate it. Still, nails must be managed and guillotine clippers terrify me, so the Dremel is the only way.

Knowing how much nicer our lives could be if the Dremel were less hated, you would think I might have put in a bit more effort. I suck.


That this month, we made a little progress on our ultimate goal, but not much. Kolchak is slightly more comfortable having his paws handled. The Dremel coming out, though still loathed, is not the cause of a major dust up. I did join a group that has issued a weekly “nails” challenge to keep me focused on the long term goal. We didn’t totally slack off, but we didn’t rock this challenge either.


The truth is that this month, there were other things that just seemed more important than nails.


  • The weather has been beautiful, if somewhat chilly, and we explored the neighbourhood working on leash manners and Felix’s leash reactivity. (Which there has been a HUGE improvement in.)
  • I’ve been working to make Casa de Kolchak more cozy and dog friendly, including upholstering Kolchak’s favourite chair. This is a gift that keeps on giving to pups and humans.
  • In an effort to better understand my dogs, we’re taking the Dognition tests to discover more about how they think and what makes them tick. We should be done this weekend and I can’t wait to share what we learn.
  • We’ve been going through the toy box and trying to weed out the toys we love and the ones that could maybe find a more loving home (or a shallow grave in the dumpster.) The bonus is that we got to play a whole lot this month.

While we didn’t achieve our training goal, I think we achieved the spirit of Train Your Dog Month.

After all, isn’t the whole exercise about spending time with your dog, increasing your bond and being a great pet parent. I think we did that, even if we do still dread the Dremel. So, with all due respect to our Amazing Train Your Dog Month Challenge hosts at Something Wagging, Rescued Insanity and Alfie’s Blog, I’m calling this month a success – even without any training in it.

Did you achieve your goals this month? What did you learn?

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Dawn Ross

Saturday 8th of February 2014

It's important to mix fun stuff with not-so-fun stuff. Some training things take longer than others, especially if what you're training is dreaded by both of you. I felt the same about teaching Pierson not to be so aggressive when he sees other dogs. But when we started making positive progress, it has been much easier. He's still dog aggressive, but we are definitely headed the right direction. I'm also lucky enough that my dogs do very well with nail clipping. We do use the guillotine clippers. I feel they take less time and make less noise.


Friday 7th of February 2014

Yes we did! Bunny made a lot of progress on her goal, and Flattery started working on it, too. She still shows no inclination to sit or down on command, but she can copy Bunny's trick, the little stinker!


Friday 7th of February 2014

LOL, after 6 years practice, Felix still RARELY sits on command, but as long as Kol sits, he will too.

I've learned to live with it.


Friday 7th of February 2014

So long as you learned something that counts as a success to me! :) By the way, LOVE Adventure Time! I was Fionna for Halloween!

Jessica Sala

Friday 7th of February 2014

My dogs could care less about the dremel and our hardwoods love it :) Peanut butter bones are a great "prize" for the nails!

Pamela | Something Wagging

Friday 7th of February 2014

You don't even want to know how much Honey needs a pet-i-cure. Her breeder would probably rescue her from me.

But yes, it does sound like you exactly met the spirit of the challenge. And you work with what you have.

Only a few hours left to be eligible for the prize--please add your linky or I'll have to do it for you. :)

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