Did you know that the month of January is National Train Your Dog Month? This month may have been chosen for dog training because many people may have just added a new puppy to their family. Since it is the new year as well, it is the perfect opportunity to add training your furry friend to the list.
You may be asking yourself, “Is it necessary for me to train my dog? All of the structure and discipline will lead to my dog feeling pressured and disobedient, right?” The real answer is quite the opposite. Dogs have always been pack animals and crave discipline. In actuality, training your dog will lead to a better relationship between you and your dog. Below, we will look at the many different benefits to training your dog.
As stated above, dogs crave discipline. Being pack animals, dogs look to their alpha for leadership. When you teach your dog commands such as stay, sit, come, heal, drop it, leave it, etc., you are teaching your dog valuable commands that could prove useful in everyday life. Say you left your favorite pair of shoes out where you dog could get them. If you teach them the command “Drop it” you would save yourself from having to buy a new pair of shoes.
These commands can carry over to your dog’s safety as well. Depending on where you live, there is a good chance that your dog could run into traffic. When you have trained your dog, you can tell them different commands that will lead them back to their safety. You may be thinking to yourself, “ My dog is very well behaved. He would never do anything like that.” Sadly, that is not always the case. If your dog becomes frightened, there is a good chance that he may start to run. This urge to run is part of his basic fight or flight response. However, when you train your dog to listen to your commands, he will have a greater chance to survive.
We all love to take our dogs to dog parks or on walks. It would be a shame if your dog could not enjoy these because of his lack of social skills. We all have witnessed dogs that become defensive and will bark at anyone or anything. Unfortunately, many of these dogs will end up being sequestered or even placed under mandatory observation for biting a human or another animal. Dog fights are definitely not fun to watch, and even more they are extremely difficult to stop.
By training your dog, you will create a deeper relationship with your furry friend. Dogs are very loyal by nature. By creating a more stable structure in their life, you will create a deeper bond. It is important to use proper technique when training your dog to establish a strong connection. Training your dog leads to a happier pet that is more manageable, relaxed, confident, and content. Having this relationship with your pet will lead to better social interaction as well. Have you ever brought your dog to the vet only to have him start shaking the minute you walk into the veterinary practice? Having this deeper relationship with your dog will lead to easier trips to the vet leading to better health and wellness for your dog.
Speaking of your dog’s wellness, training your dog will lead to giving your dog mental stimulation and purpose. When you get something that you really want, do you appreciate it more when it’s given to you or when you have earned it? Most people appreciate earning something more than getting something when they have put forth little to no effort for it. The same concept can be applied to dogs. Dogs think of learning new commands as their job and treats as their reward. This sort of positive reinforcement is a great tool for training your dog.
Training your dog will lead to spending more time with your dog. With all of this extra time spent with your dog, it is guaranteed that you will be more adept at noticing your dog’s body language. You will even begin to learn what your dog wants whether it is more time to play, food, or simply more time with you. Training your dog will be the quickest way to enrich both your life and your dog’s life.
It is important to remember that training your dogs takes time, patience, and consistency. Spending only one time training your dog will not lead to having a trained dog overnight. Each dog learns at his or her own pace, but every dog can learn and be trained. Don’t look at training as another task on your list. Instead, think of training as an opportunity to create a deeper bond with your dog.