The Importance of Proper Training
Published on: March 8, 2017
Good training and socialization isn’t just for unruly pups or show dogs! Dogs of every breed, size and age can benefit from a good training course and some socialization!
Nearly every dog, even the most stubborn, can be trained to follow obedience commands and to stop undesirable behavior. It’s true that some dogs respond to training better than others, but that’s no reason to give up hope! It’s usually just a matter of finding the right incentive and training method. This is where training classes can be hugely beneficial. Instructors have studied various ways to motivate dogs including some that you may not have thought of. Their job isn’t to just teach your dog new tricks, but to also teach you the best training method for you and your pup!
Most obedience training issues or “bad dog” behavior comes from human error, not because you have a bad dog. It’s common for us to blame the dog when they do something bad, but it’s important to remember that it’s our responsibility to teach them the right way to behave. Sometimes it’s as simple as the way we’re communicating with them. For instance, if you’re not consistent in your training commands or actions, this confuses your dog. If they only have to listen sometimes, but other times you let them get away with bad behavior, they never learn what the correct behavior is. It’s also important to remember that your dog has needs other than food and potty breaks. Dogs require both physical and mental stimulation as well. If your dog is having a hard time focusing on training, take them for a long walk or play a game with them, then try again!
Possibly the most important thing to remember is that training should be fun for both you and your dog! This is one of the reasons that training methods focused on positive reinforcement are the best route. Training methods that involve forms of punishment for negative behavior are often lost on dogs because they don’t always connect the bad behavior with the punishment. For instance, the act of taking something away from your dog by force may not teach them to drop it like you hope. Instead, they may think that people coming near them means they’re losing their toy, and thus become all the more aggressive in protecting it.
In the end, if you’re not sure about the best way to approach training or you’re at your wits end with your dog’s wild behavior, it’s always best to seek professional advice. Even if your dog is pretty well behaved, the socialization in a class setting and the bonding experience with you is something your dog would love. Plus, you get to show off all the cool things your dog has learned!