We love our dogs. There’s no doubt about it. Each year, responsible and caring dog owners, spend millions and millions of dollars to feed, entertain, pamper and provide excellent health-care for their beloved dogs. For many people, almost nothing is too extravagant, or expensive for their dogs.
Another area where these responsible and caring pet owners are spending their hard-earned dollars and precious time on is proper training, especially with puppies. These folks understand that providing quality training for their dog or puppy is one of the most important things they can possibly do for their dog in his or lifetime. Proper training, preferably as early on in the relationship as possible, can produce a wealth of benefits that will carry through the dog’s life and make it easier for him to become a beloved member of his family unit.
Why Train Your Dog?
Training activities can help improve your dog’s attention skills and impulse control abilities, and can reduce anxiety and frustration. Dogs appear to be more focused on their owners and comfortable in their surroundings. The net result is a sense of security and trust where they are able to let their guard down, because they know that they are safe from harm.
Through the lessons they learn in their training exercises, dogs learn to cope more effectively with conflict or emotionally stressful situations. They learn to have more confidence and are able approach difficult challenges with the feeling that they can be successful, which can reduce anxiety, frustration and fear. Through training, they also learn what is truly expected of them, which allows them to behave and live according to the guidelines that we’ve set forth.
Also, trained dogs require fewer restrictions, and are integrated more in the family. They receive more attention and interaction from family members, friends and strangers both inside the home and out. Let’s face it, we all know how frustrating it can be to go to a friend or family member’s home and have their out-of-control, untrained dog jump all over us, bite at our shoes or clothes, or even just bark, seemingly forever.
The Untrained Dog
If it’s frustrating for us on the receiving end, think of how embarrassing it probably is for the owner of the dog. If he or she is like most people with dogs fitting that description, they’re usually very uncomfortable with the thought of having company over, and will certainly put the dog away to another area of the house where they don’t have to worry about him or her.
The dog, in reality, just never really learned the proper way to meet and greet people, and only does what’s natural to him. He jumps out of excitement and looks to greet each new guest in his traditional canine manner of greeting. The more he jumps, the more he’s banished from guests. The more he’s banished, the more the excitement grows each time he sees a guest, which again results in further banishment. Life becomes a vicious circle of excitement and frustration. Such is the life of an untrained, impulsive dog.
Untrained dogs generally lack proper attention skills, are insecure, and, as stated above, act more on impulse than dogs who feel relaxed and secure because of their training. Dogs who behave poorly and are destructive, usually wind-up ruining more than just physical items. They destroy the bond they have with their families, and increase the chances that they will be removed from those families. These dogs are often sent off to secluded areas of the home or yard, or even shelters.
“Roughly, each year in the United States alone, over 9 million animals are euthanized. The sad fact is that, in many of these cases, a large number of these dogs die unnecessarily in shelters as the direct result of unresolved behavior problems.”
Additionally, large numbers of seemingly healthy companion dogs are also euthanized by veterinarians because of their intolerable behavior problems. Untrained puppies become untrained adult dogs. The seemingly harmless and “cute” behavior “quirks” that we usually tend to tolerate or overlook during the puppy stage can be become truly impossible or even dangerous to deal with when the dog is an adult. This can, in turn, cause a very anxious and stress-filled environment for the dog and his entire family.
It’s very easy to see, from the discussion points thus far, why it’s so critical for all dogs to receive the proper amount of quality training from their owners. However, as responsible and caring dog owners, aside from the obvious benefits of having a well-trained companion by your side, you get some very well-deserved and valuable fringe-benefits as well.
Take an Active Role in Your Dog’s Training
Owners, who play an active part in their dog’s training, gain a lot of useful experiences and valuable canine life lessons in the process. They become more observant and more in-tune to their dog’s behavior. They learn to identify, not-so-apparent, details about their dog’s behavior, so they are more equipped to handle issues or problems that may arise in the future. Owners will learn how to appreciate a dog’s biological and emotional requirements, so they are able to provide him with the necessary things in life to make him a healthy and happy member of the household. This, in turn, has positive ramifications for everybody whom comes into contact with the dog.
Instead of always using punishments or corrections to train the dog to behave properly, owners learn more effective and productive forms of communication and training to get their dog behave properly. Owners also develop a more informed estimation of their dog’s learning abilities and limitations. This provides the owner with a better understanding of the concepts and skills the dog can associate with more quickly, as well as those he may some difficulty with and take a little longer to comprehend.
All of these benefits lead to a better relationship and serve to strengthen the bond between owner and dog. They build understanding, communication, and mutual respect for one another. Training also builds leadership. Effective training will help your dog defer and comply with you to become a successful companion.
To summarize, training provides all of the following amazing benefits:
- A foundation of communication between owner and dog
- Enhances the human-dog relationship
- Promotes affection and mutual appreciation
- Provides the owner with effective management and control skills
- Builds confidence and trust
- Promotes relaxation and sense of well-being
- Enhances social adjustment, cooperation and competence
- Improves the dog’s attention and impulse-control abilities
“In short, obedience training benefits everyone!”