Training your dog is one of those things every pet parent knows they should do. Unfortunately, it can be hard to know how to train your pet, especially if this is your first one. But training is crucial for so many reasons, and not just because it teaches your dog to mind their manners. Training also provides great mental stimulation for your pet, and keeps them safe when you’re out and about. Best of all, your pup isn’t the only one who will reap the benefits of regular training — you will too! With this in mind, let’s take a look at 7 compelling reasons why you should train your dog.
Training teaches your dog how to behave At its most basic level, training is about showing our pups how to behave. Of course, dogs are not born knowing how to behave themselves.
In fact, many of the behaviors we hoomans want — not barking at the mail man and not digging up the yard, to mention a few— must seem very unusual to our fur-babies. Therefore, actions that are improper to us may appear quite appropriate to our pets. And that’s where training comes in. To teach your dog exactly what they should and shouldn't do, you must train them. It teaches them to avoid harmful behavior, play nicely with other dogs and people, and always be a respectful member of the family. In other words, it teaches them the important life skills they need to be a part of society.
Training keeps your dog safe Dog training is about so much more than learning good manners; it’s also crucial for your dog’s safety. Imagine a situation where someone leaves a gate open and your pup escapes after a squirrel. Your fur-baby immediately starts following their nose in the direction of the squirrel, but there’s one very big problem: in between your pup and the squirrel lies a busy road. Without training, your desperate calls for your dog to come back fall on deaf ears. But if you’ve trained your dog to come when called, you can rely on them to stop and return to your side. Dog training ensures that when you and your pup are faced with a dangerous situation, you can keep them safe.
Training gives your dog confidence The world can appear to your dog to be a confusing, frightening, and occasionally intimidating place. There are surprises, odd sights and noises, and circumstances that seem unpredictable around every corner. And all the while, there are crazy humans expecting them to sit here, stay there, and not to touch that.
However, if you teach your dog the behavior you want, they won't react fearfully or anxiously to unfamiliar or unexpected situations. Instead, they will reply with calm confidence.
Training offers great mental stimulation Another wonderful benefit of training your dog is that it provides a mental challenge for your fur-baby. Regular mental stimulation is crucial for your dog’s health and wellbeing. It prevents boredom and the destructive behavior that often occurs as a result, and dogs usually love having a job to do. So training won’t just boost their confidence and problem-solving skills, but it’ll also make your dog happier too.
Training teaches your dog how to socialize Getting along with other dogs and people is an important life skill for every dog. Whether you’re out for a walk, at the park, or having guests over for dinner, your pup needs to know how to interact in a variety of social situations. For example, you can work on teaching your dog to play nice with other dogs, accept strangers, and greet visitors calmly. Socializing your dog also exposes them to a variety of new situations and settings, reducing anxiety when they encounter new experiences. Training keeps your family (and your home) safe We mentioned above how training can stop your dog from getting into dangerous situations. But it’s also important to keep your family safe and protect your belongings. For example, your dog jumping on your kids or senior members of the family could not only be traumatic but also lead to serious injury. So by training your dog not to jump, you’ll be doing your whole family a favor. And if your pup thinks it’s OK to turn your couch into a pre-dinner snack, or dig up your flower bed, training offers a simple solution. Training is fun! Finally, it’s worth remembering that training your dog should never be a chore. It’s an important responsibility, sure, and you may need a steady supply of patience along the way, but it’s also incredibly rewarding watching your dog learn and grow. Even better, training is a whole lot of fun.
Want to train your pet humanely? Take a look at the ASPCA’s position statement on training aids and methods. Need some help teaching your dog some obedience basics? Does your Greyhound need guidance on how to greet people politely?
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Credits: Tim Falk