Dog training is one of the most important things you can do for your pet. It will greatly improve the relationship between you and your dog.
Dog training will give you a means of communicating with your dog. The most obvious way it can help with communication is by teaching your dog to respond to commands. Next time you come across your dog ripping apart your favorite pair of slippers, you will be able to use simple oral commands to stop the destruction. Dog training will also improve communication by allowing your dog to find its place within your household social hierarchy. By teaching your dog to sit and give you its paw, you are telling the dog that you are in charge. When your dog obeys your command, it is recognizing your position.
Dog training can also protect your dog. A dog that has been properly trained won’t go chasing after a bouncing ball into traffic. A dog that has been properly trained won’t take a nip at other dogs or pedestrians when you are out for walks. A dog that has gone through dog training will be a confident dog. You will also be able to give it more freedom to do things like run off the leash when you know it will return on your command.
Finally, dog training can be a fun activity for you and your dog to do together, a time for you to focus all your attention on your dog. It need not be a chore, and it should never resemble an extended punishment.
The most important concept in dog training is the reward. Rewarding your dog with treats is the fastest and most pleasant way for your dog to learn new commands. While punishing your dog has its place in most dog training regimes, it should be used sparingly. If all your dog ever receives is punishments or reprimands, your dog will quickly learn to ignore or avoid you. This will make it extremely hard to properly train your dog.
Dog training should start as early as possible. While you may not see immediate benefits, and many doubt puppy can actually be trained, it will at the very least set the stage for successful dog training later in life. The methods you use to train your dog will seem familiar and a part of its daily routine. This is not to say that you can never teach an old dog new tricks. Just be prepared to put more effort into it than you would with a younger dog, and to always be patient.
While there are many resources available for you to train your dog on your own, the easiest way is to use a dog trainer. You should spend a lot of time picking a dog trainer, however, as bad training techniques could be very damaging to your dog.
Anyone can call himself or herself a dog trainer. It is therefore important to only use a dog trainer that has been glowingly recommended by someone with well-trained dogs, or by a reputable organization such as the ASPCA or other humane societies. And before spending any money, ensure that the dog trainer uses methods you are comfortable with. Visit the facility and see a dog training session in action. If you see any signs of cruelty or hostility by the instructor towards the dogs, find someone else.
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