The Importance of Dogs Training

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There are many questions that come into play when you make the decision to bring a dog or puppy into your home; although that list of questions is long, (especially for new dog owners) training is at the top of that list more often than not.

"Should I immediately begin to train my dog?" 

"Is training really necessary?"

The simple answer to these questions is yes, training is a crucial part of developing a healthy relationship and fostering trust with your puppy or dog. It is one of the most important aspects of living with and providing for one. Whether it is to establish a leader, to promote a healthy lifestyle for a young puppy, or for their own safety, properly training your dog is of the utmost importance.

Pack Mentality

Dogs are pack animals and seek a leader that they can place full trust in; an individual that will never steer them wrong and can make correct decisions for them when needed. Although it may be easy to overlook this, especially if you do not have more than one dog in your home, it usually is not another dog they want to compete with for role of Alpha: it is you. Training is an important part of establishing "pack-order" and creating a balanced environment for your dog or puppy. Exhibiting a patient demeanor while still making it clear that you are deserving of their respect and your commands are to be followed will go a long way in swaying your dog to view you as "leader." A bond is built through patiently working with your dog on a consistently, trust is established, and you position yourself as leader. You may even start working to build this bond as early as 7-8 weeks.

It's Never Too Early

Training can begin as soon as a puppy enters your home, it is never too early to start. Not only is training important at this age because it helps to manage behavior, but it also provides both mental and physical stimulation. A tired puppy is a happy puppy and certainly one that is less likely to find something inside the home to destroy in order to expend some of that excess energy. Working with your puppy daily, no matter how simple the task, will give him or her a sense of purpose (and of course offering treats for a job well done never hurts).

It is also important to remember that a new puppy is not just fluffy ears, an adorable wagging tail and puppy dog eyes. By the time a puppy comes into your home, he or she is physically old enough to be away from their mother and should not be treated as a human baby, instead treated as a puppy: old enough to learn, be corrected when necessary, and able to remember and modify their behavior in the future.

Safety

Of all the reasons that training is important for your dog, their own safety ranks at the top of the list. A dog that is accustomed to following commands, was raised to do so and respects you as their leader will never fail to obey when needed. Consider an unforeseen situation where your companion's safety really is in question and the "sit" or "stay" command is all that stands between them and a dangerous situation such as running onto a highway, or negatively interacting with another dog that could mean them harm. A well-trained dog will follow a command without hesitation or question, because they trust you as their pack leader to establish boundaries and to make decisions.

Sociability

It is crucial to train your companion in a variety of settings such as a backyard, alone inside the home, at the dog park, or in classes instructed by a professional with other dogs or puppies their age. By mixing-up the environment in which they are trained, they become accustomed to ignoring distractions and are granted the opportunity to interact with other people as well as with their own species. Socialization is important beginning at a young age to avoid any future aggression issues towards other people or dogs; this is especially true of larger breeds who assign themselves the duty of "protector" at an early age. By helping your companion grow accustomed to different settings, you also give them the opportunity to see you interact with other people and other canines without them feeling as though they need to intervene to protect you.

At the End of the Day

There are many more points that could be mentioned when speaking of how truly important it is to train your dog, and the above only sheds light on a few of them. It is clear, however, that not only will your companion be happier if properly trained, you will be as well. By providing proper training to your dog you are ensuring their safely, their physical and mental well-being and giving them the opportunity to please you- their favorite human.