The Importance of Dog Training

Dogs are considered man’s best friend. They are there for you day in and day out. Owners should be the same way! A great way to do that is to train your dog. Training your pup is no small feat, but it can be done. To help you get started, here are some examples of an end goal, the important reasons why your dog should be trained, and some tips on how to get started. Keep in mind that all dogs and owners are different, and that these are just some general suggestions.

What Does a Well Trained Dog Look Like?
To be honest, dog training will look different for everyone. Each dog is different, and each human has different wants and needs for their relationship. Dog training is not a one size fits all. However, here are some general ideas for a what a well trained dog looks like.

1. Good Listener
A dog who listens to commands from their human is a well trained dog. By coming when called, leaving the object they were told to leave, or staying when told to stay, that dog is a safer and happier dog with a happy human.

2. Gentle On Their Leash
Loose leash walking is a great way for a dog to get proper exercise and mental stimulation. If your dog is pulling you down the road, neither of you are really having a good time. By walking loosely there is no pulling or straining, but rather time (and patience!) to stop and smell the fire hydrants.

3. Calm With Guests
A family friend comes over for a visit. As they walk in your house they are barked at, backed into the wall by an overly obnoxious sniffing nose, and even jumped on! A well trained dog will listen to commands and be kind when new guests arrive. This makes for a pleasant experience all around.

Why Should You Train Your Dog?
Training your dog has many benefits, and is truly vital for a good human-dog relationship. By not training your dog, you may be doing both you and your dog a disservice.

1. Mental and Physical Stimulation
Dogs are smart, and can be hyper. By training your dog, you can provide your dog with mental stimulation. This prevents destructive boredom habits, such as chewing. It also provides for positive physical stimulation. Being able to have your dog run through the house when called, or walk calmly on a leash makes for great physical exercise!

2. Training Creates a Strong Bond
If you dedicate 10-20 minutes every day, solely to your pup, you are bond to grow closer. Positive training sessions allow for you and your dog to learn how to listen to one another, and how to respect one another.

3. A Safer Time
A dog who isn’t trained, will not come when called. A dog who isn’t trained could break away from you on a walk. A dog who isn’t trained, isn’t as safe as a dog who is. By training your dog, you can be confident your dog will walk with you, and come back if called.

What Are Some Tips For Training?
Training is not one size fits all, but here are some basic tips to hopefully inspire and push you in the right direction. Find what works for you and your pup. Don’t be afraid to not use some things, or add more.

1. Socialization!
This should be done as early as possible. Introducing a dog to the world can be frightening at first. New smells, sights, and sounds can all come at once. By socializing early your dog will get used to exploring new places, meeting new dogs, and meeting new people.

2. Take Breaks
Dogs have an attention span just like us! They will get bored, they will have bad days. It is no reason to give up. Maybe today is not a day for repetitive sits, but rather a game of hide and seek to practice recall. Don’t be afraid to get creative, and make sure to have patience.

3. Proofing and Proper Toys
Make sure to provide your dog with proper toys. The best-trained dog still needs to chew. By putting objects out of reach, and providing proper toys, your dog is bound to be well behaved! This will save you time, money, and frustration.

4. Seek Professional Trainers
There’s nothing better than learning from a professional. Do some research and see if there are any local trainers. Meet up with them, talk with them, and see if they’re the right fit for you and your pup. You may have to meet with multiple trainers to find the right one, and that’s perfectly okay. Taking the time to find the right trainer is better than working with the wrong one for you.

5. Have Fun
Owning a dog is a special thing. It’s not meant to be homework, though caring for a dog is a challenge! Your dog is your best friend, companion, and someone who loves you unconditionally. Make sure to have patience, but also to have fun. Training your dog can be an awesome experience, one that you can learn so much from.

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