Why is training your canine companion so important?
Dogs have become an important part of many people’s lives and in so doing we place a lot of exceptions on them to conform to our human world. For a poorly socialized and untrained dog this can lead to confusion, stress and anxiety.
Training your dog is important to dilute confusion and teach them what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Nobody enjoys their friend’s dog jumping on their laps in their home to greet them or jumping at them in the park. They would however be very impressed if upon meeting their friend at the park and during conversation the dog sat politely by their owners side, or, if they visited the home, when the door bell rang and they entered the dog was in a stay position and was released after they came into the home and greeted them calmly.
Bonding with your dog will be enhanced once the dog learns expected and proper behaviors.
As a dog trainer who uses positive reinforcement methods, it is important to reward them for the behavior you want. This method of training is very effective in motivating your dog such that he or she wants to please you. Training can be fun and pleasurable once you learn the proper techniques and reward systems. This sets the stage for clear two way communication and creating a healthy relationship between owner and dog.
Can dogs really think?
Dogs are very intelligent animals and positive reinforcement training allows your dog to “think” about what you are asking them to do and rewarding them for doing the correct thing. Through consistent training it also builds your dogs confidence and better equips them to be part of our human world.
The absolute key to training is that when we conduct obedience training with our dogs, after 6 to 12 weeks it would be a mistake to think “ah well my job is done and the dog is trained” and never do any further training. The key is to implement training on a consistent basis and find a way to work it into your everyday life so that your dog remembers what it has been taught.
Nothing in life is Free
What does that mean? It means you never give your dog anything, breakfast, a treat at lunchtime, dinner, that toy to play with in the afternoon, that long lasting chew which is so delicious and great for their teeth..., without asking them to do something for it first. A sit or a sit and a focus, a touch, a trick etc etc. By doing this you are not only teaching your dog to say “please”, but, all of the training that you have invested in your dog will always stay fresh in their mind.
Training also provides mental stimulation for your dog which is as equally important as exercising them and can help eliminate problem behaviors. In my professional experience it continues to be proven that a trained dog is less likely to be surrendered to an animal shelter.
Positive reinforcement training is so rewarding, it’s fun and truly builds a strong, trusting bond between an owner and their canine companion.