We love our dogs almost as much as we love our people (or family). But if you haven't spent much time training your furry companion, you may run into many challenges as your dog goes through life. Training helps instill good habits while teaching your dog proper manners.
Here are four reasons to start training your dog right now.
1. Training Strengthens Your Bond
Training sessions give you a chance to spend quality time with your dog and strengthen your bond. Using reward-based training as opposed to punitive, you also help build a more positive relationship with your pup.
Victoria Stillwell, the famous TV dog trainer, says positive training fosters a relationship of mutual trust and respect instead of intimidation and fear.
2. Training Can Prevent Problematic Behavior
The primary goal of training is to help your dog avoid problematic behaviors that can make life more difficult for both you and your pup.
Training improves communication between you and your dog, which promotes comfort and security. It's not about showing your dog who's boss, but rather motivating him to adopt good behaviors through positive reinforcement.
Be sure to practice basic behaviors, like sit, stay and come, in real-world scenarios. A solid "sit" cue can be used to prevent barking and jumping when the door opens. The "come" cue can be used to recall your pup when you're in an off-leash area.
3. Training Improves Socialization
Training gives your dog confidence, and also helps with the socialization aspect. With each training session, your pup learns how to confidently handle real-life situations that he'll find himself in.
Confident dogs who are exposed to a wide range of scenarios in a positive way are less likely to be fearful or anxious. Fear is one of the leading causes of bites, which you may be held liable for.
According to http://sigurdsonlaw.com/, "Many states, such as California, New Jersey, and Ohio, have strict liability laws regarding dog bites. Basically, a strict liability law means that you, as the dog’s owner, are liable for just about every injury your dog causes."
Socialization is important, but it's also important to remember that not all dogs, like people, are social. Understand and respect your dog's limits. Don't be afraid to remove your pup from a situation she is uncomfortable in.
4. Training Could Save Your Dog's Life
As dog owners, we tend to view training as a way to make our lives better and easier. Dogs that understand the rules of the house and proper manners assimilate well into our families.
But training may actually save your dog's life.
Absolute K9 brings up an important scenario that may change the way you think about training.
Let's say you're walking your dog along a busy street when he slips out of his collar and runs out into the street. You call out to your dog to return. If you have an untrained dog, he may not follow your command. He may not even know what the word "come" means. But a trained dog, in an ideal scenario, will understand your cue and return to your side.There's still no guarantee that your dog will return (they are wild animals with minds of their own), but training will make it far more likely that he will run back to your side and avoid a potential catastrophic situation.