The Importance of Training Your Dog
“We need to learn to understand the language of dogs so that we can understand what our dogs are telling us, that is the secret of living a good life together.”, said a famous Norwegian dog trainer and author, Turid Rugaas. Training a dog attributes a common language that can help you communicate with each other. Well, there are many other reasons for training your dogs apart from understanding what our dogs are trying to convey. One of which is training provides enough mental stimulation to a dog that keeps her happy.
Dogs are different species than humans. That said, they have many things uncommon such as the way they communicate, their nutritional needs, body cooling function, sleep cycles, etc. Dogs shook their paws with humans somewhat 16 thousand years ago. And that has changed the course of life for both of us. Since then, humans took the responsibility to take care of their pets and to keep them happy and healthy. There are no bad dogs they say, there are only bad owners. So, when a dog can’t learn and adapt from her wild habitats and families, it’s her human parent’s job to teach her the canine education she needs.
People used to think that dog training was only about teaching them some cool tricks, obedience commands usually through negative reinforcement which included heavy-handed punishment-based techniques. It was considered to be the luxury for dog parents and most of the times considered it to be so straightforward and simple that they anyone can do it simply on their own without the help of adequate knowledge and professionals.
The statement about punishment based methods still, in this era, seems to be true. However, people have turned towards professional training and learning about the basics of dog training. The sad truth about it is that the most owned dogs are not trained well. This, in turn, leads to surrendering dogs to shelters because of the behavioral issues that could’ve been prevented. Investing your time for your dog to teach them canine education will make her happy, and ultimately, that’ll make two of you.
You Can Build a Positive and Lasting Relationship
Training is one of the best ways to understand your dog and what he tries to communicate with you. The dog-friendly training makes learning more rewarding, easy and a happy experience after all. While you are indulged in training her it adds to the time you spent with your pet and that counts for strengthening your relationship.
You should never promote or incorporate punitive or negative reinforcement training for canine education. The punitive approach to training your dog is destined to fail because of the lack of affection and mental torture due to dominant status will endanger your dog’s physical and psychological health.
Dog-friendly training approach, on the other hand, incorporates mutual trust, rewards for good behavior that will help to foster the positive relationship between you two. If there’s no training or punitive methods, a fearful and unruly dog will never be able to make you happy and content pet parent. In a nutshell, a well-trained dog is more tolerant, self-disciplined, well-behaved in different situations that enhance the mutual understanding between her and her parent that strengthens the positive relationship.
You Can Teach Life Skills
Think about the pariah dogs or wild dogs. They learn from other dogs how to live and adjust to the environment they are living in. Domestic dogs seem to adjust easily with human families than their wild counterparts, but human companionship comes with its own challenges and pressure. Teaching your pooch the canine education with enough mental stimulation and physical activities will prevent their psychological behavioral issues and destructive behavior such as chewing on things, and aggressive nature.
The important part here is to make the learning process so well by managing her environment and making learning fun and easy by positive reinforcement training. If your Fido is social and love to meet new dogs and people, teach her how to welcome guests. For example, teach your dog to greet with wagging tail without jumping or behaving overwhelmingly as guests enter.
On the other hand, if your dog is fearful of new people, put her behind the baby gate or in her own room. This will keep her mentally and emotionally stable and will keep nervousness and anxiety at bay. Also, space is important for socially inexperienced and fearful dogs for letting them adjust to the unique pressures this environment puts.
You Can Make Them More Sociable
Not all dogs are innately social. Dogs were wild creatures who, over the course of time, used to learn how to socialize with other pack members and other animals. But when you are a parent to a domestic dog, you’re supposed to teach them how to meet, greet, and socialize with other people and dogs he is going to meet.
However, this training should start from their puppyhood. You can enrol your pup into dog school where he will meet other puppies and will be trained to socialize. Making your doggie more sociable means letting her observe and converse from a distance without getting uncomfortable during the interaction. Socializing is not only about observing and conversing with other people and dogs but also it considers physical touching. All in all, proper training helps a dog being more social.
You Can Help Them Avoid Problem Behaviors
Training will build a common language of communication between you and your dog. The more time you spend with your dog training her, the more your dog will understand the language of communication to avoid the problem behaviors due to lack of understanding.
If not good communication, dogs end up being punished for their misbehaving that could’ve been avoided. But, anyway, negative reinforcement is never a solution to teach your dog. It literally goes against the thought of understanding the common language.
For example, sit and stay commands can be taught and you can use it when you need them to sit or stay. Let’s say, you’re buddy has learned to sit and stay command in the puppy school but sometimes she won’t follow your command because things are different in the real world. A real world has unique pressure for a dog which needs to be released. So give her a motive. Reward the behavior with treats and verbal appreciation. You can also relate this with her grooming anxiety and know how training can help in this situation. Training beforehand will make her less anxious every time she will encounter a groomer and thereby avoiding such problem behaviors.
Loyalty and Companionship Is Rewarding
While I support and admire the positive reinforcement approach, I never meant to not curb dogs’ undisciplined behavior. There is also another way to address unwanted behavior such as ignoring their behavior is far better than negative reinforcement or punitive methods.
Leading your dog into what’s right than punishing her for doing something wrong is better because the latter builds the trust problems and a fearful bond between a dog and her owner. And when fear infiltrates the chummy companionship, the happy relationship dies. Proper training will lead to loyalty and happy companionship. In a nutshell, training is very much crucial for a dog and her owner.
Clara Lou is an avid animal lover and a co-founder of Petlovesbest Inc. She enjoys being around all -kinds of pets, whether it be dog, cat, fish, pig, hamster – you name it! She strongly believes the need of animal education is crucial as animals share our planet with us. You can find her articles published on renowned blogs across the globe.
One Response to “The Importance of Training Your Dog”
I have a question. Why is it recommended to continue training your puppy subsequent to the actual socialization period?