Why every single dog needs to be trained.
You hear it all the time: Dogs should receive obedience training. But what’s the big deal? Why does your dog need obedience training if he’s just going to hang around the house, go for walks and maybe come with you on a camping trip or two in his lifetime?
While on the surface it might seem like obedience training should only be for dogs with a budding career in police dog work, the truth is that obedience training is for every single dog. In fact, not one dog living in our society is exempt from the need for obedience training.
The reason for this is simple. An obedience-trained dog is a good dog. Dogs with obedience training are less likely to be destructive in the home, less likely to run away, less likely to bite someone and less likely to end up abandoned in an animal shelter.
How can something as simple as learning a few commands make such a huge difference in a dog’s life? Because obedience training is more than just teaching a dog to sit and stay. Obedience training establishes a relationship between you and your dog that sets the tone for your dog’s entire life.
Here are three prime reasons to take your dog to obedience class:
Your dog needs a leader. This is probably the most important reason of all to obedience train your dog. In order to feel secure in the world, dogs need to feel like someone is in charge. Obedience training establishes you as the leader. This allows your dog to relax and take comfort in the fact that you have everything under control. Dogs with obedience training are more confident and so less likely to develop separation anxiety, fear aggression and a host of neurotic behaviors.
- Your dog needs structure. Once your dog receives obedience training, he will know what’s expected of him. You will have taught him the meaning of certain words and behaviors, and he will understand what you are asking of him. He will feel more secure in the world knowing he understands what you want.
- Your dog needs to learn how to act in a human world. Although dogs have been domesticated for tens of thousands of years, they are still born with natural instincts that relate back to their wild ancestors. By obedience training your dog, you are teaching him how to behave in the world of humans. Although he will still have his canine instincts, obedience training will also teach him the rules of living in human society.
If all this isn’t reason enough to obedience train, imagine living with a dog that always comes when you call him, doesn’t jump on guests when they come over, doesn’t bark all day at the neighbor’s kid, doesn’t chew up the TV remote, doesn’t drag you down the street—the list goes on and on. Obedience training establishes a foundation of good behavior that will last your dog a lifetime.
If you have a new puppy, enroll him in a puppy kindergarten class right away. This will help you get started on the right foot by teaching the little guy what’s expected of him early in life.
If you have an adult dog whose behavior leaves something to be desired or who is fearful and insecure, sign up for an obedience class right away.
Even if your dog is well behaved and seems to be doing fine, take him to class anyway. You’ll be amazed at how your bond will deepen and your relationship blossom.
About the Author: Audrey Pavia is an award-winning freelance writer and author of “The Labrador Retriever Handbook.” She is a former staff editor of Dog Fancy, Dog World and The AKC Gazette magazines. To learn more about her work, visit www.audreypavia.com and hollywoodhoofbeats.net/