So often people are thrilled about getting a new dog, whether they’re getting a puppy or an adult dog from a shelter. They have the best of intentions. But it’s not long before the dog starts displaying some frustrating behaviors. He may chew on things or jump up on people. He may bark excessively. He may have trouble learning to be house trained. Or maybe he just won’t listen to you. Whatever the problem is, your dog is not fitting into your life. He’s causing trouble. A lot of times that dog may end up going to the shelter if the owner can’t live with the situation.
Why Training Your Dog Is Important?
The benefits of training are certainly numerous for your dog as well as for your family. In some cases it can save the life of a dog and keep him in his home so he won’t be sent to a shelter. When you train your dog you can establish rules and boundaries for your dog. You can teach him what you expect of him. You can stop the behaviors that are causing problems in the home or even prevent them from starting. Training your dog helps you establish a closer relationship with your dog. And, well-trained dogs are happier. They get to go places with you and do things that badly-behaved dogs don’t get to do.
The First Step: Basic Obedience
If you have a new puppy or if you’ve adopted an adult dog, one of the best things you can do is find a training class. Look for a class that teaches basic obedience.
What Will your Dog Learn?
Basic obedience training covers a broad array of basic commands that every pet owner and dog should know. Some of these basic commands include the following:
- Sit Command. This is generally the first command that will be taught. This command can form the basis of many other commands and can also be helpful in preventing your dog from jumping on people.
- Off Command. This important command helps owners control behavior such as nipping, jumping, biting, grabbing food from the table, and in some cases, digging and chewing.
- Stay Command. This is an extremely important basic obedience command that all dogs should know. In some instances it could even save your dog’s life one day. The Stay command helps owners maintain control over their pet in potentially dangerous situations (chasing cats, children, roller blades, bikes, motorcycles or other animals in the street). Also an effective way to stop dogs from trying to escape from your home or car.
- Come Command. Yet another critical command that all dogs should know, particularly if you will be taking your dog for outings. The come command gives the owner maximum control over the animal in any situation. If learned correctly, the dog will run to your side in even the most distracting situations.
- Down Command. This is not the same command as “off” although the two are often confused. It can be helpful in many situations.
- Leash Training. Proper leash training can make outings with your dog much more enjoyable for you as well as for your pet. You will learn the correct way of walking your dog without the hazards of pulling and distractions in the street. If you are tired of being dragged around by your dog on outings, this alone can make obedience training well worth it!
Training Works At Home
You may wonder how knowing these commands will prevent your dog from chewing on furniture or doing other naughty things at home. Once your dog learns to pay attention to you and actually listen to your commands, it is much easier to teach him things at home. The important thing is to establish the proper relationship between you and your dog. With a good training class you will learn how to train your dog and your dog will learn that he enjoys having you in charge. Life is better for both of you when you follow these roles and this lesson will transfer to your home life, too. Plus, it’s amazing how easy it is to stop many bad behaviors at home once you can simply tell your dog to sit and he obeys.
Helpful Information: Top Ten Warning Signs when Hiring a Dog Trainer.