25 May 2018

Invitation to the Train for Rewards Blog Party 2018

Join the pet blogging community in supporting reward-based training of dogs, cats, and other companion animals. #Train4Rewards

A little dog in a party hat invites pet bloggers to take part in the 2018 #Train4Rewards blog party


Are you a blogger? Do you support reward-based training for dogs and other animals? Would you like to take part in the #Train4Rewards blog party?

You are invited to write a blog post about reward-based training of dogs or other companion animals, post it on your own blog on the set date, then come and share a link to it here. Bloggers from anywhere in the world are invited to take part.

In the past, posts have covered the training of dogs, cats, horses and pigs. Posts on the training of rats, mice, ferrets, rabbits, and fish are all welcome too. Read on to find out more.

If you are not a blogger but still want to take part, you can do so by reading and sharing the posts, and sharing a photo of your own pet on social media on 16th June with the hashtag #Train4Rewards.

Here is how bloggers can take part.


On Thursday 14th or Friday 15th June:


1. Publish a post on your blog in support of the #Train4Rewards blog party. It can be words, photos, video, a podcast, or a combination, and relate to any kind of companion animal.  I’ve put some suggestions below to get you started.

Double-check your post to make sure the tone is friendly and supportive to people who might not know anything about positive reinforcement training – we want to be encouraging and upbeat.

2. Include the #Train4Rewards button in your post and make it link to the Train for Rewards blog party page (see below for more info).

3. Add your blog to the list on companionanimalpsychology.com. The list will be open from 8am PST on 14th June until 8am PST on 16th June. Don’t miss the deadline!

The small version of the button



On Saturday 16th June:


1. Check out the full list of participating blogs on companionanimalpsychology.com. Visit the other blogs, and leave comments to show support for your fellow bloggers.

2. Share your blog post on social media using the hashtag #Train4Rewards.

3. Share your favourite posts from other participating blogs on social media, also using the hashtag #Train4Rewards. You don’t have to share all the posts (unless you want to), so pick the ones you like best and share those. You can spread this out throughout the day.

4. Feel proud of your contribution to improving animal welfare. Reward yourself with a piece of cake, a bunch of flowers, a walk in the woods, or whatever makes you happy.


Ideas for posts


Blog posts can be about any aspect of reward-based training and can use text, photo, podcast or video, so feel free to use your imagination.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • What you enjoy about training using positive reinforcement
  • How to use positive reinforcement to teach a behaviour or solve a behaviour problem
  • How to train your cat to go into a carrier
  • Reasons why training is important to cats too
  • A video of your dog, cat, rabbit, rat or ferret doing tricks
  • The key thing that made you become a crossover trainer
  • Photos of dogs (or other animals) enjoying a training session
  • The best treats to use as rewards
  • Recipes for training treats
  • An ode to your bait pouch, written by your dog
  • Why you love your dog trainer


The 2018 Train for Rewards blog party celebrates reward-based training of dogs, cats and other companion animals
The larger version of the blog party button (800 x 800 pixels)


How to get the most out of the blog party


1. Bring your best post. It’s like wearing a beautiful dress to a party. The people who got the most out of previous years’ blog parties wrote great new posts. If you must use an older post, you should update it. People are more likely to share new content.

2. Take time to edit. It’s generally best if you can set aside the first draft of your post for a day or two, and then come back to edit. Re-writing is always an important part of the writing process.

3. Use a great photo. When you add your post to the list here, you will get the chance to choose the photo that will appear as your thumbnail. Everyone will have the Train for Rewards button, so if you have your own photo it will make yours stand out. Also, photos really help with sharing on social media. You can use your own photo, find one that is available for free use or pay for a stock photo (just make sure you’re following copyright rules).


The rules


What is allowed: anything that celebrates the reward-based training of companion animals.

What is not allowed: training that uses pain, including but not limited to choke and prong collars, electronic shock collars, alpha rolls, shake cans, citronella sprays, or other aversive techniques; blog posts of a commercial nature.

I reserve the right to remove posts if they are inappropriate and/or not within the spirit of the blog party. Please keep posts family-friendly. No discussions will be entered into.

If you want, you can let me know that you are planning to take part. I look forward to reading your posts!


Technical details of adding the blog party button: 


The button is already available on this page, and the url it should link to is this one.

This year, I am not using a photo hosting site because the cost is prohibitive. Instead, you can download the photo by right-clicking on it and saving it to your computer. Add it to your post where you would like it to appear.

You should make the blog button link to the blog party; if you prefer, you can include a text link as well or instead.

Please make sure the link to the blog party is a nofollow link. 

Google does not like it if people use follow links in blog parties and can apply penalties, which no-one wants. Typically, to make a link you just click the ‘nofollow’ button when you add it.

If you need help, please ask. There are many of us with different blogging setups taking part, and between us we should be able to help.


Technical details of adding the link to your blog post to the blog party:


You need to post the specific permalink to your blog post, not the main url of your blog.

If you have several pictures in your post, you will have a choice of thumbnails. Choose the one you want to display in the link-up.

If you make a mistake or want to choose a different thumbnail, you can delete it and start again, any time up to the deadline.

Blog posts will be displayed in a random order, so you do not have to be the first to add your link – just don’t miss the deadline of 8am Pacific time on Saturday 16th June.

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