Once you have your dog, one of the most important steps is dog training. This will give you a happy, stable and loving dog as well as building the bond between the two of you.
One of the first goals of dog training is communication between you and your dog. By communicating with your dog you teach him how to respond to your commands. That way the next time you find your dog playfully chewing your best slippers you can give him the commands to stop him doing it. Dog training will also help the communication by allowing your dog to determine his place in the social hierarchy of your house. This is important for your dog to know and will affect his behaviour. Some excellent examples of this can be seen on the TV show ‘The Dog Whisperer’. By establishing and reinforcing the command hierarchy you help your dog recognize his position. Something as simple as training your dog to sit and give his paw is establishing his position.
Dog training can also help your dog’s wellbeing. A properly trained dog will not go chasing a loose ball into the road where he may be struck by a car. A properly trained dog will not jump up at passers by or nip and bite other dogs he meets. Once your dog has been through dog training he well be more confident and you will be more confident that when he’s off the leash he will obey your commands and return to you when called. It always amazes how few dogs come to their owners call. Some simple dog training can reduce your stress levels and make sure your dog comes when called.
Dog training should be a fun filled exercise for you and your dog. It give you time to be together and bond. All your focus will be on your dog, and all his attention will be on you. It should not resemble some form of punishment or torture and it should not be a chore. As you go through dog training you will learn a lot about your dog and appreciate him all the more for it.
The basics of dog training
When most people think of dog training they instantly go to the idea of getting your dog to do as you want or punishing it. While this can play a small role in dog training, (such as dog training collars, click Dog Collars for more details on dog collars), this should not be the focus. You are teaching your dog to avoid or fear you – neither of which you want. It makes it very hard to properly train your dog.
The correct way to train your dog is through rewards. Rewarding your dog with treats, (see Dog Treats for more details on dog treats) is the most pleasant and the fastest way for your dog to learn new commands. He will want to do as you command not only for the treat but to please you too. Your dog will soon associate doing as you command with pleasant experiences and he will willingly comply.
You should start your dog training as soon as possible. You won’t get instant results, especially with a puppy, but you will lay out the ground work for successful dog training later in his life. The methods and techniques you use will become part of the daily routine and become ingrained in your dog. The old adage that you can never teach an old dog new tricks isn’t true either. It just takes more patience and a little longer to train an older dog and to establish new habits and patterns of behaviour.
Choosing a dog trainer
You can take on the job of training your dog on your own, but the quickest and easiest route is to hire a dog trainer. Take your time finding a dog trainer and make sure you’re happy with his methods. Bad training and bad techniques may actually be worse than not training your dog at all.
There are no qualifications needed to be a dog trainer so it’s important to pick a dog trainer that has excellent recommendations from owners or well trained dogs, or from a reputable body such at the humane society or the ASPCA. Before you hand your dog over for training make sure you’re happy with the trainer and his methods. Go and see a training session or two to see how the trainer handles the dogs. If you see any hostility, cruelty or punishment then it might be a good idea to look for another trainer. As an alternative both you and your dog can attend training sessions by organizations such as the ASPCA. These are really great and you’ll find that both you and your dog are trained at the same time. Oh and don’t forget to have fun training your dog 🙂