Whatever the dogs age, breed, or temperament, every dog can benefit from undertaking training Here are some reasons for training your dog whether that be on a 1-1 basis or enrolling on a group class.
One of the best ways to build a healthier relationship with your dog is to understand how your dog learns and use the principles of positive training to make learning as rewarding, successful and easy as possible. Positive training, rewards and motivates a dog for good behaviour, allows you to build a relationship with your dog based on mutual trust and respect. Working regularly with your dog helps you to understand his/her needs better, making you an even better owner as well. It can also be a great source of exercise and open up new possibilities for you—the better behaved your dog is, the easier it is to take him/her along wherever you go.
The better you can control your dog with voice commands, the better you can protect him/her when unrestrained. A dog that bolts when off the leash is much more likely to run in front of a car, or to slip out the front door before you’re ready to leave.
As your dog learns to respect boundaries and behave properly in social situations, other dogs (and people) will be more comfortable and at ease around your dog. As a result, more of these interactions will be positive experiences for your dog. Training your dog to have good manners and behave well in different situations requires effort, but consistent commitment ensures success. We have high expectations for our dogs, encouraging them to be friendly with everyone they meet, even if they are uncomfortable in certain situations. It is therefore vital to socialise your dog by giving them good experiences in the presence of all kinds of people, animals and environments and social situations.
Doing so at a young age will give confidence and lessen the chance of experiencing anxiety and discomfort in adulthood.
Socialisation does not mean your dog has to always physically touch another dog or a person. Humans ‘socialise’ all the time without physically touching each other. Exposing your dog to different situations where they can observe at a distance is as important. People are naturally drawn to interact with a cute pup and when dogs greet each other some physical touching is likely to take place.
Socialisation is all about keeping your dog comfortable in these social situations while taking care not to force them into a situation they might find uncomfortable. Not all dogs, like people, are social. Understanding how your dog copes will determine how far you can go and even though having a social dog is preferable in our society, it is not a failure to keep your dog out of a situation she finds uncomfortable. Observing how your dog copes will help you respect and understand their limits.
There are plenty of myths out there that might be stopping you from moving forward with your dog’s education. But many of them are just plain wrong, and some may even be causing you to encourage bad behaviour. A dog’s age is no indication of their capacity to be trained. Older dogs may be need a few physical accommodations, particularly larger dogs or those with weight problems, but they can learn to take instruction just as well as younger dogs.
Training your dog builds up a language of communication between you that promotes security and comfort. The more time you invest teaching your dog to live successfully in a human world the more you will avoid problem behaviours that come from lack of understanding. Many dogs respond well to cues such as sit and stay in the classroom, but remain unprepared to deal with life’s pressures in the real world. Make sure that every cue or action has a purpose behind it such as sitting at before crossing roads.
Every dog needs to learn how to live successfully in a home environment. Teaching your dog basic manner skills and providing them with enough mental enrichment and physical exercise will prevent developing anxiety and other stress related behaviours such as destructive chewing, inappropriate barking and aggressive display. An important part of the learning process is to set your dog up for success by managing her environment and making it easy for your dog to do well.