Why Should Your Dog Have Obedience Training?
You just adopted or purchased a puppy. He’s so cute and attentive. You have no problems, so you think about waiting until the dog is older to train him. Or- you just adopted an older dog and he knows how to sit, etc.; so he doesn’t need training. Both of these decisions are an error in judgment. Obedience training can help with the following:
Management of your dog
· How to prevent or re-direct chewing
· How to develop bite-inhibition. Teaching your dog to be gentle, if he puts his teeth on you.
· How to housetrain the puppy or re-homed older dog
· Where the dog should sleep and why
· What to feed your dog and how often
· How to prevent or correct separation anxiety
· Games to play that stimulate the dog’s mind
· Your dog will go through several stages of development during his first year. The best time to expose him to different people (age, sex, race, handicapped, etc.) and sounds (sirens, children yelling, vacuum cleaners, etc.) is during the first 4 months. Bringing your puppy to obedience classes will help with some of this exposure and teach your dog how to “read” other dogs.
· The older dog will also benefit from classes because most spend their time at home and need to be exposed to other people and dogs. Some need to be desensitized to fears developed as puppies.
The puppy’s brain is a “clean slate” open to learning. He will learn whether you go to class or not. It is just a matter of what he learns- positive or negative behaviors.
Training classes build confidence in your dog and establish you as the leader. The classes will provide the groundwork for a rewarding long life with your dog. Training will help you to understand how the dog learns and why he behaves in various situations.
The goal of training is for you to develop the patience and knowledge that will be needed to go through all the stages of your dog’s life.
The most common reasons for getting rid of a dog or for euthanasia are “it doesn’t behave” or “I can’t control it”.
Training is really for you to bond with your dog and to establish a trusting human-dog relationship. Puppies learn that you are a leader and not a littermate.
By taking your dog to training classes, you will make him part of your family. Training is rewarding and fun for you and your dog. Training gives your dog a job that he will enjoy at home and in class.
Sophie (Moyer) Myers- Happytails Dog Training APDT member and NADOI certified instructor