If you don’t teach your animal obedience and manners right from the start, it’ll be difficult to, well, “teach an old dog new tricks.” You’re the pet parent, and it’s your responsibility to make sure your “baby” is trained properly so he can live a happy life with you and your family and stay safe and healthy in the process. But neglecting the importance of dog training because you think it isn’t necessary or that it’ll all fall into place over time is setting yourself up for disaster, and you’ll find yourself living with an ill-behaved dog who no one likes to be around.
Teaching the most basic commands – sit, stay, down, wait, answering to his name, etc. – will allow your dog to have an amicable and happy relationship with you, and you’ll feel confident taking your pet out in public or having guests at your home. Most importantly, you’ll simply enjoy each other’s company and understand each other better. Rules are a good thing, and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) celebrate National Train Your Dog Month every January to drive this point home.
Training Your Dog Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
If you want to get the most of your relationship with your pet, put the time, effort, and energy into connecting with them. You don’t have to scream at your pet or abuse him to get your point across or ensure obedience. You’ll merely create a stressed out animal if you attack dog training ferociously and without flexibility, especially in the case of puppies. These toddlers are silly and rambunctious and have better things to do than learn obedience – like play. (And, while we’re on the subject of age, keep in mind that many dogs have a “teenage” phase too – your feisty adolescent dog may need a little training again.)
Positive, gentle, reward-based training is the goal so that you can have fun training your dog, strengthen your relationship with each other, and so that he learns to love the time you spend together, even if a lot of the time is about teaching and learning.
Socialize Your Pet
Socializing your pet is an incredibly important element of dog training. You socialize your dog in order to make sure they’re friendly with you and with others, but also to help your puppy build resistance to fear and aggression, which could become serious problems later. Too many dogs wind up in animal shelters because they have behavioral or training issues. These are problems that could be easily reversed with the right attention from the start.
It’s important to remember that all dogs have their own personalities – some won’t like particular social situations while others will be quite joyous about engaging with other animals or people. Some pets are shy, others are quite gregarious. You have to accept your pet’s inherent mannerisms and resist forcing them to change. Healthy and positive obedience training can work for every dog when done right, no matter how introverted they may be.
Protect Your Pet Through Training
One of the most frustrating duties as a dog owner is housetraining your pet. But practical solutions, whether you’re dealing with a puppy or adult dog, are available. If your pet is having a very difficult time learning how to housetrain, consult your vet to find out if your dog has a physical problem that’s impeding their ability to master housetraining.
Crate training can be helpful when working to housetrain your pet. Crate training is also a great tool for keeping your dog safe, especially during travel times or home renovations. If your dog is used to his crate and feels comforted by this space, then you have conquered a major hurdle.
Happiness Is Taught
Never forget that your dog is not a calculating creature or trying to be difficult when he has difficulty catching on to your training methodology. He isn’t going to the bathroom in the house just to make you mad. Dogs are smart in many ways, and this canine intelligence is buoyed because of positive interactions with their owners that enable dogs to be not only fun and affectionate, but loyal and obedient.
Dog training should be fun, and even feel like a game to you and your pet. You’ll both get discouraged from time to time, but just remember that the more you work at developing a healthy relationship with your pet, the more likely that is to come to fruition. Taking on the job of training your dog is a weighty but important role that helps you bond with each other. But if you feel like you don’t have the proper time or dedication to this job, seek out a professional who can help you so that you and your dog can enjoy each other’s companionship.
Take care of your dog in all ways. Visit the Northpointe Veterinary Hospital, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for fast and comprehensive care.