We all love our furry companions, but sometimes they can become quite a handful. It can be especially frustrating to handle your pet if they aren’t housebroken or trained previously (which is commonly seen in puppies or domestic strays.)
When people think about training dogs, they often think of fancy pet shows, where the dogs perform some cool, outrageous tricks such as balancing on a skateboard or giving their owners a high five. Although these may be interesting to do with your dogs, this is not what training is really about. Rather, when you train your dog, you’re training him to be housebroken and respectful of your surroundings in a positive manner, creating long lasting memories on the way. Here are some important reasons on why you should train your fur baby:
- It helps build a relationship with you and your dog. As said by AMA Animal Rescue, “training is one of the best ways to understand your dog and what he tries to communicate with you.” Training your pup can build a foundation of trust between you and your dog. When you do get to training your dog, remember to keep focus on positively reinforcing your dog’s behavior - punishment will not allow your dog to learn, and will instead put your relationship with him in jeopardy. Reward good behavior, but don’t punish the bad behavior; this will help training go smoother and more efficiently as well. For instance, consider investing in training treats to make the reward aspect more fun for both you and your dog!
- You can allow your dog to be more approachable. If you’re someone who has guests or friends come home often, then it can be overwhelming for them to have a dog try to jump up on them or aggressively bark at them. This might not only make your dog appear more dangerous, but it may also discourage you from inviting people over. Training your dog to - for instance - wag his tail excitedly instead of jumping onto a guest can be very beneficial in the long run.
- You can build up loyalty between you and your dog. A strong bond of trust and loyalty is important not just in human relationships, but also canine relationships. Training your dog will mean that your dog is more likely to listen to your commands, which can become handy in emergencies or daily situations. This is again why positive reinforcement is crucial; punishment will make your dog fearful and reproachful of you, while a more gentle approach will allow them to trust you more.
- Your dog will be safely sociable with other canine companions. If a dog is trained improperly or isn’t trained at all, this can make it harder for him to manage himself when he meets another dog. For instance, they may become more jumpy and aggressive, or the opposite; they may become shy and anxious. Additionally, this can make this harder for the owner; for instance, if your dog is really sporadic, this can cause him to quickly lose attention to his surroundings and may easily get lost. You can prevent this with training; while training, you can expose your dogs to social situations in a safe manner, and as you build that trust between you and your dog, they may also feel more comfortable exploring.
Training your dog can have many long term benefits, so we highly advise you to do so. If you are personally too busy to train your dog, there are plenty of programs that train your dogs independently (kind of like a doggie preschool,) so consider sending your pooch there. We wish you best of luck on you and your pooch’s training!