Dogs are a large part of society, and it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love dogs. From the song “How Much is That Doggy in the Window?” to phrases like “puppy dog eyes” and “puppy love”, dogs are everywhere in our culture. Just about everyone can relate to seeing a puppy and falling in love. But unfortunately this initial love of dogs often leads to the discarding of dogs, as animal shelters bursting at the seams with relinquished dogs are a testament of. Many people get dogs and then realize they don’t know how to take care of them, or can’t handle their behavior.
The first concern of every new dog parent should be behavior training. Crates, leashes, food, toys, and bedding are important, but before you jump into anything else, get your dog training in order. Proper training can help you take that sweet puppy and transform her into a beneficial member of the family, and can nip any possible behavior issues before they begin.
Any responsible breeder or pet shop owner should set aside time to discuss dog training with new owners. However, excitement on the part of the pet owners and the process of filling out paperwork and going through adoption formalities on the part of the breeder or shop owner often distracts both parties from talking about the fact that behavior training is the highest priority for any new pet owner.
When you first consider behavior training, you might think that it’s mainly for the owner’s benefit. While owners definitely benefit from having a well-behaved dog that they can easily control and direct, the dog also benefits greatly from being trained because she knows the rules of the house. Proper training can ensure your dog becomes a member of the family and home instead of a nuisance. Can you imagine driving on a road that has no signs indicating speed limit or rules of the road, and then being ticketed for speeding? How were you supposed to know if the rules were never laid out? That’s how dogs who aren’t trained, but are then punished for barking, jumping up, and other behaviors probably feel. By instilling the rules of the house, your dog knows exactly what to do and can enjoy a peaceful relationship with you and your family.
If dog owners aren’t familiar with the basics of dog training and dog behavior and don’t pursue dog training for their pets, they can easily become frustrated with their new dog. Not only is this stressful for the owner, but it’s extremely stressful and damaging to the dog, as well, and can inhibit her ability to learn in the future. The relationship may deteriorate quickly, and it can lead to sad consequences, such as the dog ending up in an animal shelter.
Professional, high quality dog behavior training is the best thing you can do for your dog. Gentle training from a professional that uses simple commands, positive reinforcement, and allows your dog to enjoy the experience can lead to a lifetime of good behavior and can strengthen the bond between owner and pet forever.