Why You Should be Training Your Dog
Published on: August 22, 2017
The Benefits of Training
Dogs come in a wide variety of breeds, sizes, ages, temperaments and learning styles, but they can all benefit from training. Consistent training focused on positive reinforcement can improve behavior, insure better safety and create a stronger bond between the two of you. Whether your goal is to establish a good foundation for day-to-day activities or more advanced activities like agilities, there are a number of great products and classes to consider!
On Their Best Behavior
A dog that’s been properly socialized and has good manners is better equipped to interact with people and other pets. You don’t want your pet to jump on friends that come to visit or other dogs at the dog park. Constant barks and howls, “accidents” in the house, torn apart trash or ripped up flower beds are all behaviors that can be curbed by consistent training. However, you don’t want to punish your pet for these bad behaviors. Dog’s don’t make connections between actions and consequences the way people do. Your dog knows it’s getting punished, but may not know why.
Instead, it’s better to reinforce good behavior with rewards. Keep a supply of healthy, small training treats on hand so you can reward good behavior quickly. Consider a treat pouch that attaches to your belt for when you’re away from home. For training specific commands like sit, down, etc. try using a clicker. Clicker training helps create an auditory association between an action and the reward. For questions about clicker training, treats or other gear, stop by your locally owned and operated Wag N’ Wash and talk to a team member!
Keep Them Safe
While good manners are nice, training can also keep your dog safe. Teaching them recall commands can ensure that they come back right away. A properly leash trained dog is less likely to take off after a cat or rabbit. You don’t want them to rush into a busy street by accident. It’s important to be realistic about your dog’s behavior and level of training. If you’re still working on leash manners, consider a training lead for distance work. This allows you to practice commands at a distance without the risk of your pet getting away. For work near busy streets, try a traffic handle. If your pet is still working on socialization, use a muzzle to reduce the risk of biting. However, remember that muzzles are only meant to be used as training tools and shouldn’t be left on your dog for long periods of time.
Strengthen Your Bonds
One of the best things about training is that it creates a stronger bond between you and your dog! Dogs are pack animals and they like knowing that they’re working to strengthen the pack. You can often disguise your work as fun activities. Leash manners can improved on a long walk. Utilize tools like control harnesses and gentle leaders to train your dog to stop pulling. Playing with toys can be a great opportunity to practice basic commands. Before throwing the toy, make your dog sit instead of jumping all over the place. Take it a step further by making your pet stay before allowing them to chase after the toy. There are plenty of ways to sneak behavior training into fun daily activities that you and your dog normally do.
The various tools and resources available for pets and their people are nearly endless! Many Wag N’ Wash locations offer puppy socialization and basic obedience classes in-store. To find out if your store holds training classes or to find out more about available tools and equipment visit the location nearest you and talk to a team member!