Invitation to the 2019 Train for Rewards Blog Party

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

Invitation to the 2019 Train for Rewards blog party

By Zazie Todd, PhD

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Are you a blogger? Do you support reward-based training for dogs and other animals? Would you like to take part in the fourth annual #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 and horses. Posts on the training of rats, mice, ferrets, rabbits, and fish are all welcome too.

Read on to find out more.

On Friday 14th or Saturday 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 blog party page (see below for more info).

3. Add your blog to the list on here. The list will be open from 5am PST on 14th June until 8am PST on 16th June. Don’t miss the deadline!

The small version of the Train for Rewards blog party button
The small version of the blog party button

On Sunday 16th June:

1. Check out the full list of participating blogs on 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.

Invitation to the Train for Rewards blog party. Photo shows strawberry shortcake and tea.
Photo: Jill Wellington/Pixabay

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. This year, the blog party coincides with Father’s Day, so that might give you some ideas too.

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
  • A video of your dog, cat, rabbit, rat or ferret doing tricks
  • Reviews of books or videos that are about reward-based training
  • 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 train for rewards blog party button
The regular Train for Rewards 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 more. Also, photos really help with sharing on social media.

You can use your own photo, and we love to see photos of your own pets. Or you can find one that is available for free use or pay for a stock photo (just make sure you’re following copyright rules). Several sites have free photos available, including Pixabay, Unsplash, and Stocksnap.

The blog party 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, or other aversive techniques; blog posts of a commercial or spammy 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 about posts that break the rules.

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 button: 

The button is already available on this page, and the url it should link to will be added to this page nearer the time.

You can download the photo by right-clicking on it.

Ideally, you should make the blog button link to the blog party; if you prefer, you can include a text link as well or instead. Without a link somewhere in your post, it will not be possible to add it to the link-up.

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.

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.

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 Sunday 16th June.

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. She is the creator of the popular blog, Companion Animal Psychology, writes The Pawsitive Post premium newsletter, and also has a column at Psychology Today. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and two cats. 

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