We have had a lot of adoptions over the last few weeks which is really exciting to see. Whether your new dog is a puppy or a senior or something in between training is needed. Like humans, dogs go through different stages and training is what will help them become the dog you always wanted. Each dog brings not just their past into the equation, and we usually don’t know their past, but they bring their breed (s) characteristics and personalities. Yes, they all have their own quirks just like you and me.
Training should be ongoing and throughout your relationship. When we think of training we tend to think of puppy training. But no dog comes to us as ready to be perfect. So while the six-week class is important so is ongoing training such as crate training and behaviors that are not usually acceptable such as digging, jumping, licking people, chewing, running away.
We talk a lot about being a responsible dog owner or guardian. And making sure your dog is properly trained is part of being responsible—not just for your dog’s welfare, but for your own peace of mind as well.
When a dog is allowed to do as he pleases but is then reprimanded or yelled at that’s a constant source of stress for both your dog and you and those around you.
No matter its age, breed, or temperament, every dog can benefit from a training.
1. Training is for both you and your dog.
When we got our dog we enrolled in a six-week obedience class. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that the class was more for me than it was for him. What I learned helped me to better understand his needs and it made me feel more confident on how to be the one in control. Not controlling, but in control. My dog took to training quickly, and I think maybe he had lived in a home before, and so my willingness to do the hard work let to a better behaved dog which meant I could take him more places and life with a dog got easier and easier.
2. Training is for their own safety
This one was the hardest for my dog. Controlling my dog with voice commands is still a work in progress. He is only off-leash in our yard or at a dog park. But he was a runner and would totally ignore the come when called training we did. For him it was a fun game of chase. He slip out the door when a package was delivered or get through a section of the fence we thought was secure. We had a few terrifying adventures including one where he got hit by the train. Thank goodness he’s fine, but a dog that bolts and won’t come when called is a danger to himself. Trust me, you can not outrun a dog. My husband almost have himself a heart attack on more than one occasion.
3. Training opens up social opportunities.
Dogs and people love and need boundaries. Rewards-based training with repetition helps your dog to respect those boundaries that you have set up whether it’s not jumping on people or furniture. not begging for food, going into the crate on command, at. As your dog learns to behave properly in social situations everyone is more comfortable around them whether they walk on two feet or four. The positive social interactions your dog has with others the more he will choose to react in positive ways and be more relaxed and manageable with each interaction.
It’s one thing for your dog to obey owner’s commands, but a successfully trained dog will also follow others’ orders when you’re not there. Unless you want to cut your vacation short because your dog isn’t playing well with others, making sure she’s properly trained should be a top priority.
5. It’s never too late to start.
We’ve all heard that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and that simply is not true. Many people adopt dogs well passed their puppy days and are successful in breaking bad habits and integrating new ones. Just because a dog came to you as a barker doesn’t mean he has to keep barking and risk getting you kicked out of your apartment or creating tension with your neighbors.
A well-behaved dog of any age experiences less stress, interacts better with others, and forms a stronger bond with you. Ongoing training opens to the doors to being able to take your dog anywhere they are allowed in public.
Instilling a sense of confidence in your dog is not an overnight happening. But the more you invest in your dog the more it will happen and the happier and more emotionally secure your dog will be. And then the magic of a true companion relationship blooms.