by Brian DeMartino – November 25, 2021
Dog Training plays a very critical role in our dogs development and their safe social interactions with their environment. Without the proper training it can cause frustration, confusion, and possible behavior issues such as aggression, fears, and separation anxiety.
When humans adopt a dog of any age, breed, or size from a Rescue, Breeder, or Puppy Store they unfortunately do not come with an instruction booklet on how to achieve the maximum level of “balance” in our dogs life. So what exactly does that mean?
Why Should I Train My Dog?
The puppy stage or when we first adopt a rescue is the most amazing experience, filled with the unconditional love and companionship of our new furry family member! But without the proper guidance given to our dog in those beginning stages we start to see unwanted behaviors develop. Play biting, over excitement, jumping, excessive barking, taking things that do not belong to our puppy or new dog, digging holes in the yard, having accidents inside the house, pulling on the leash and trying to chew or eat anything and everything that crosses his or her path. These are just to name a few but any dog owner knows exactly what I mean.
Because of the vast amount of information available on the internet of how to train your new dog, it makes it difficult to know what is the right way or how come what you read is not working. It is very difficult to be able to just read something about dog training or stopping certain behaviors and to actually apply them to your dog without actually being instructed hands on by a qualified Dog Trainer or Dog Behaviorist.
Benefits Of Dog Training
- First and foremost Dog Training ensures the safety of our dogs. Our dogs learning to listen at times when it matters the most such as not running out the front door, how to properly behave when seeing another dog or person, to understand not to eat or swallow potentially harmful items such as rocks, children’s toys, or household items just to name a few.
- Dog Training is not just about the dog being trained. In order for it to be successful the owners must be fully educated on how to properly communicate with their dog when asking for a certain behavior or to respond to a command. Many owners that I work with do not know about the different levels of Dog Training and believe that the symptoms that their dog has was created by the dog when it was actually created by the owner without realizing it simply because of being uninformed. Once that communication is established it brings the relationship between owner and dog to a whole new level.
- Structured activities to exercise our dogs are one of the most important things to fulfill in our dogs life. Structured is when our dog is happily engaged on us while walking for exercise which leads to no pulling on the leash. Tired dog equals well behaved dog and well behaved dog equals happy owners and household.
- Mental Stimulation is extremely important for our dog just as it is for the human. This is achieved through teaching our dogs the basic commands to receive a reward. But it does not end there. We always want to “up” the challenge for our dogs to keep it interesting and so our dogs can advance to the next stages of training. Same as humans starting in kindergarten to learn the basics but then they advance to high school, then college, then a career, and then the advancing still continues consistently, so we properly grow and mature into adulthood. A lot of dogs never even begin that training or never advance and they stay stuck in kindergarten their whole life, so we want to make sure that our dogs continue to advance in all areas of their lives.
- Socialization with people and other dogs is another very important part of our dogs lives that is sometimes hard to do but it is crucial to do consistently from a young age and needs to be done thee right way to avoid potential bad behaviors from developing. We want to make sure that our dogs feel safe in the way that they understand when being socialized to avoid any unwanted behaviors from developing.
- A huge benefit of Dog Training is our dogs being exposed to the world or environmental stressors at a young age and to continue that through adult hood. When our dogs are young they have not yet developed any fears and they just want to explore so this is the best time to bring them out too many new places, around new people, new sounds, and new situations. This will create a confident dog which many of my clients dogs lack that exposure and have developed fears that can then lead to unwanted behaviors.
Dog Training and where you have it done or who you have it done by can be a very difficult decision because the term “Dog Training” or hiring a Dog Trainer usually means hiring someone or bringing your dog somewhere that will train your dog the basic obedience training but might not educate you and your family how to properly practice that or might not educate you on the advanced training stages as your dog progresses.
So its best to have a few trainers do a consultation with you and have them explain in detail what service they will provide before making a decision. Also Dog Obedience Training such as sit, lay down, stay, etc is very different from learning how to properly communicate with your dog and to stop unwanted behaviors from developing. So its best to find a Trainer and Behaviorist that can cover all the stages of your education and one that can properly lay the right foundation for your amazing dog! All the training should be fun for your dog and your dog should be motivated in a reward based way to learn what you want as responsible dog owner.