Dogs can be sources of immense joy for their owners when they are well-behaved. But sometimes, things don’t go according to plan. If you are wondering why training your dog is important, here are some examples. You may come home to a wrecked sofa or find toilet paper all over the place. Your neighbors may complain about the dog crying out all day while you’re at work.
You just may be spending too much money on new shoes because they keep getting chewed up. Worst of all, your dog may spin out of control during a walk, and what happens next is an emergency trip to the vet’s office.
These are just some of the signs that your beloved pet needs to learn some manners.
Read on to learn more about why you should train your dog, what type of training is best, and what kind of results you can expect.
Why is dog training important?
Pet dogs want to please their owners, but things can get out of hand without a sense of direction and boundaries. Dogs need discipline and a set of basic rules so they will be happy and confident. Training your dog can boost their confidence as they will know when they are doing something right.
It also stimulates their brains, which is just as important as physical activity. In addition, during the process of training, you will create a stronger bond with your pooch.
Just imagine how spending quality time with your dog, where they are mentally stimulated, focused entirely on you and the task at hand, and then getting a reward – to crown the interaction with even more positivity – can affect your pet’s perception of you.
From your end, you may also be surprised how smart and obedient your furry friend can be. They have amazing potential and even more energy; they just need some direction.
Owners that don’t train their dogs often find themselves in unpleasant, albeit somewhat funny situations. For example, you may think that nibbling on your fingers is cute when you have a puppy. But when that puppy grows up, if they don’t learn bite inhibition, the issue can become severe. The same goes for stealing food, destroying household items, and greeting guests.
When someone is at the door, your dog should let you know. But a few barks should be enough to get your attention. If you have a dog that wants to tear visitors to pieces and keeps barking all the time they are there, your social life will be at risk. Worse than that, if your pet injures someone, whether intentionally or just by jumping with excitement, that could even become a legal problem.
So, training your dog has multifold benefits. You will decrease stress, financial costs, maintain your social life and create an unbreakable bond with your furry companion.
Benefits of Dog Training
Training your dog will affect all aspects of your lives.
1. Improved communication and bonding
You will learn more about your dog, understand them better, and be able to tell how they are feeling and what they are trying to communicate to you. Thanks to the training, you will also be able to take more pride in all the clever things your dog can do.
2. Training can keep your dog safe
If you can command your dog to stop when they are off the leash, and they obey, you have done everyone a great service. Teaching your dog commands such as sit, stay, and come is essential. It can prevent your dog from running into traffic, chasing another animal and getting lost, or help avoid a fight with another dog.
Also, drop it and leave it are two other basic commands that should be at the top of your list. Getting your dog to not eat things off the street or from strangers can prevent poisoning, illness, bee stings, and injuries to the intestinal tract.
3. Training can help with socialization
If your dog knows some basic rules of engagement, they will be better accepted among other dogs and by people and children. Socializing your dog and exposing them to as many different things as possible early in life is absolutely essential. A dog that is not socialized can become fearful, anxious, and even aggressive.
If you teach your pup not to jump on people, nibble their fingers, or lick their faces, the reactions to your dog being around will be much more positive. Also, your dog will get a lot of praise and affection, which will create a pleasant experience that he will want to have again.
4. Vet visits will be manageable
A well-behaved dog is a pleasure to work with. On the other hand, if your dog wants to run away from the vet’s office or won’t let people touch him, the stress levels will escalate every time for everyone involved. Also, some veterinarians may refuse to provide care if they are afraid for their own safety or concerned about your pet’s safety during the procedure.
For your dog, being taught to obey other people’s commands and being desensitized to touch can save their lives. With proper examination, vets can spot signs of illness or disease and treat them to prevent serious consequences.
5. You can go on vacation
If your dog is trained and well-behaved, you won’t have a problem finding a friend, a relative, or a facility to take him in while you go on vacation. You also won’t have to worry about any damages or distress that can occur when your dog is separated from you. So, you can pack your suitcase and enjoy your well-earned rest.
6. Training decreases stress levels in dogs
A happy, confident, obedient dog will be less stressed, fearful, and anxious about their surroundings and around other people. They will not bark excessively, be destructive, or aggressive. This, in turn, will also help you relax.
7. It’s Fun!
Teaching your dog new cool tricks can make you a real attraction among friends and family. You could even take it a step further and come up with a routine that will incorporate exercise and mental stimulation, so you will both become more energized and enthusiastic about your time together.
How should you train your dog?
First things first, training should begin as soon as your dog arrives in the household. If you are getting it as a puppy, not starting some basic training immediately is a missed opportunity. But if you’re adopting an adult dog, nothing changes; you should begin as soon as they set foot in your home.
That said, training should not be overly strict or incorporate any type of physical punishment. What you want to do is figure out what your dog loves most. Whether it’s food, toys, praise, or cuddles, you can use all of that for positive reinforcement. Whenever your pup does something right, they should get a small reward. If it’s a particularly difficult task or something new that you are teaching them, you can prepare something juicier to reward them.
Also, adopt the mindset that from the moment you get your dog, you are responsible for everything he does. Therefore, if he misbehaves, it is because you failed to correct him or failed to teach him what the desired behavior is in that situation.
Another trap owners easily fall into is being inconsistent. Once you set a rule, stick to it each and every time. If the dog doesn’t get to jump on the furniture, sleep in your bed, or get table scraps, then it’s not okay to allow it ever. Dogs need a sense of direction and certainty. If you are sending mixed signals, your dog will be stressed and confused, and of course, fail to follow your rules.
Training your dog is a fun and rewarding activity for both of you. The benefits you will reap are multifold, from staying out of trouble to creating a stronger bond and opening lines of communication. Basic commands should be taught as early as possible, and then you can build upon that infinitely. Whether you opt for a professional trainer, obedience classes, or train your pooch yourself, it will be a worthwhile investment.