Have you ever held a new puppy in your arms and fantasized about all the wonderful experiences you will embark on together? Perhaps you have watched Lassie, Old Yeller, Max or Air Bud and found yourself considering how life enriching the experience of owning a dog can be, only to find yourself frustrated and confused when your new puppy begins destroying your shoes or jumping on all of your friends.
Many new dog owners become discouraged when they realize that many dogs are not naturally the well behaved, obedient companions that we see in films or on TV. Just like children, they require consistent, good direction and patience to shape them into the pup we want them to be.
Training your dog is not only beneficial for you and your sanity, it has serious implications for the safety and health of your dog, the well being of the people and pets whom you interact with and the money you will spend on home repairs and replacement clothing.
Why Should I Train My Dog?
Many people, pet owners and non-pet owners alike, would agree that training plays a critical role in a dog’s development and ability to safely interact with their environment. Despite this, a majority of respondents in a Pet365 survey reported they had never taken their dog to a professional training class.
The consequence of not training a dog can result in everything from annoyance and frustration on the part of an owner to severe and preventable problems, requiring behavior modification for a resolution.
January is designated National Train Your Dog Month by the APDT, so the following information has been written in honor of all the awesome dog owners out there who want to learn more about how they can transform their life and the bond they have with their canine companion through training.
What are the benefits of dog training?
1. It is significantly safer for your dog.
The safety of your pup is of paramount importance – and as its owner, it is your responsibility. Ensuring your pet listens to your commands can prevent it from experiencing potentially deadly conflict with other dogs or wild animals, running into a busy road or generally harming itself in hazardous situations.
2. It’s safer for your home.
Training your dog helps ensure that your living quarters are treated with respect. Instilling manners in your pet means that it will know the difference between what is acceptable and unacceptable in your home, and it will behave with courtesy to the rest of your family. For example, teaching potty training protects your home and reduces potential frustration. Dog training will save a great deal of money on home repairs, and will significantly decrease the likelihood that dog will chew its way through the irreplaceable piece of antique furniture which has been in your family for five generations.
3. It builds a lasting relationship between you and your dog.
A training regime will establish a fundamental connection between you and your pup. As you spend time together, creating boundaries, sharing experiences and learning to understand each other, a mutual respect will develop. Your dog will learn to trust and respect your judgment, and you’ll gain admiration for their potential and capabilities.
4. It’s easier when you take your dog out in public.
We’ve all seen instances where it looks like a dog is taking its human for a walk, rather than the other way around. By training your dog, socializing them in public, and building its confidence around humans and its fellow dogs, your walks together will be an enjoyable experience for both of you. Your dog will learn to interact safely and effectively with others.
5. It’s easier for the vet to work with your dog.
Veterinarians are not miracle workers, and cannot risk their safety or the safety of their staff attempting to work on a dog who is reacting violently to them. Pet owners who have not taken the time to desensitize their dog to being touched or worked on can risk overgrown nails, dental disease, untreated wounds or infections and the progression of disease which likely could have been prevented if discovered early.
6. You can help other dog owners.
Once you understand how to train a dog, you have that skill forever. Not only can this help you with all the dogs you own, but once you’ve mastered training your own dog, you can share your knowledge with other owners. You can even start a career as a dog trainer yourself – and what could be better than working with dogs each and every day?
January may be National Train Your Dog month, but the best time to begin experiencing the benefits of training your dog is right now – regardless of what day it is. Whether you already have a canine companion or are considering the addition of a furry family member, remember that training your pup is integral to optimizing your relationship with them and providing them the best life that you possibly can.
If you would like to learn more about dog training or are uncertain about where to start, we can help provide the information necessary to discover your dog’s true potential through science-based training methods. Please contact us for more information about our programs, including Board & Train programs, private lessons, group training sessions and more.
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