Wonderful…rewarding…terrific…fantastic…very good…okay…not bad…could be better…let’s change the subject. Ifyou were asked how your experience at dog ownership is going, where on this word spectrum would be your response? Well, if it’s anything less than fantastic, please read this article in its entirety.
Nothing I can think of has the same potential to make such a tremendous contribution to the quality of your life than opening your home to a dog or puppy. And, nothing has the potential to make your life completely as miserable than opening your home to a dog or puppy.
What makes the difference between the first experience and the second? TRAINING! Every experienced dog owner will tell you that training your dog in obedience and socialization is the absolute best gift you can give your dog, your family and you.
A properly trained dog will provide you with unconditional love, countless hours of enjoyment, and genuine, devoted friendship. While an untrained, non-sociable dog can wreak havoc in an otherwise stable, happy home.
The most frequent excuse I’ve heard why dog owners don’t train their dogs is lack of time. Sure, we’re all time-deprived, but the hours you devote to training your dog will come back to you ten-fold in wonderful experiences, fun times, and the benefits that come from having a truly appreciative friend and companion who will stick by you in good times and bad.
The Benefits of Dog Training
It’ll help you establish a lifetime relationship with your dog
When you decided to become a dog owner, you took on a responsibility to provide for your dog and make his life the happiest it can be. And, since the most important mission in a dog’s life is to please his owner, obedience training will help your dog achieve his lifelong mission.
Whether or not you are aware of it, training begins the moment you bring your dog into your home. Your dog will observe everything you do. How you react to his actions, how you interact with the others in the household. Eventually he will look to you for guidance. He wants only to please. Your lifelong mission should be to help him. He’ll very quickly depend on you for food, shelter, and companionship.
While there are many very qualified trainers to help you train your dog, I believe with a passion that you would truly be missing out on such a wonderful experience if you didn’t take the task of training your dog on yourself. Many resources are readily available that will help you train yourself to train your dog. And, when you consider the fact that dog training is a lifelong process that continually strengthens the bond between dog and master, it only makes sense that you provide that training.
As you and your dog train together, your bond grows stronger, your relationship becomes closer and an attachment will be established that you’ll feel just by being with your dog. Your dog likewise will learn so much about you he’ll be able to know what is expected of him, just from your gestures, your facial expressions, your tone of voice.
And don’t think it will all be work. You’ll find it to be an enjoyable experience. Especially when you move from obedience training to trick training (if you decide to take it to that level). Trick training can be fun. You’ll find yourself laughing a lot. And that can only be good for you, for your dog and for your deepening relationship.
It will correct behavioral problems
Let’s face it, gone unchecked, a dog can be a furry bundle of bad behaviors. Barking, chewing, digging, running away, jumping up, growling, or even worse, biting, are behaviors no responsible dog owner should tolerate. And basic obedience training – the sit, stay, come, down, heel commands — will go a long way to correcting the vast majority of those anti-social behaviors. A trained dog will be a joy to you, your family, and even strangers. Your dog will be welcomed in more places which will further strengthen his social skills.
Another advantage to conducting the training yourself is that training should continue throughout your dog’s life. Learning keeps your dog’s mind vibrant, focused, and active. The alternative is boredom, which fosters bad behavior.
Many of your dog’s bad behavior problems are actually normal canine activities that happen to occur at the wrong time, or the wrong place, or directed at the wrong thing. Without training, your dog will soil your carpets rather than eliminate outside; he’ll chew your furniture instead of his toy; he’ll bark at nothing all night instead of just at the intruder. With proper training you will teach your dog to perform his natural behaviors at the right time, place and in the proper doses.
It will stimulate your dog’s intellect
Dogs are by nature very curious. They love to investigate. Smells, sights and sounds all become the subject of investigation. This attribute will help contribute to the success of your obedience training. The other attribute is the capacity for your dog to exhibit exceptional intelligence. But, before a dog has the ambition to learn he needs stimulation. If not a sound, sight or smell, then it can be you providing a challenge with obedience training. Your dog will become smarter, and as a result learn more and learn quicker as your lifelong training progresses.
It will encourage inclusion
Even though you will be the primary trainer, you need to involve the entire family in the process. This promotes inclusion which contributes to the feeling of security for your dog. He’ll feel very comfortable in his place in the “pack’s hierarchy”. When properly trained, you will be able to take your dog on family outings, for walks, car rides, even vacations. This is all quality time that further strengthens bond between dog and owner.
It saves time
Proper training that begins on day one will avoid so much future aggravation as well as the time you will spend disciplining your dog, cleaning up the messes he makes, straightening out trouble he may cause neighbors, repairing the holes in your yard, or arranging boarding instead of simply putting him in the car for the weekend trip. Yes, dog training will eventually prove to be a short cut to a very happy experience.
Training your dog is simply the right thing to do. All involved benefit greatly and directly — you, your dog, your family, your neighbors, and strangers whose path crosses your dog’s.
As I mentioned above, I recommend that you afford yourself the opportunity to provide the training yourself. And, I also recommend below an excellent resource that will help you accomplish just that. Best of luck.
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