Monday, May 31, 2010

Why Should I Train My Dog?

Obedience training is one of the best things that you can do for yourself and your dog. It is essential to creating a healthy, happy relationship between you and your canine. Unfortunately, many owners don't realize the importance of training and behavior problems are now one of the most common reasons dogs are surrendered to shelters. Dogs aren't mind readers. They don't just instinctively know how their owners want them to act, or what the rules of the house are. Like children, they have to be taught what is appropriate and what is not. Owners who haven't bothered to teach their dogs the rules often find they end up with unruly dogs.

Things that are cute as a puppy, such as mouthing your hands and jumping up to play, are suddenly unacceptable when the dog is full grown. These are issues that could have been easily prevented had the owners taken the time to train their new family member in the first place. Even if you are adopting an adult dog who is past his puppy behaviors, training will help you establish yourself as the leader of your pack. Dogs are pack animals, and therefore social hierarchy is extremely important to them. If it isn't clear who the pack leader is, they will attempt to take charge of the household. This can lead to behavior problems like claiming resources such as the couch or your bed.c Most behavioral issues are often perfectly natural canine activities that are performed at the wrong time on the wrong things, such as chewing your shoes instead of a chew toy or going to the bathroom on your rug instead of outside on the lawn. Training teaches your dog the appropriate ways to exhibit his natural canine behaviors. Using physical dominance to achieve the status of pack leader is unnecessary. Your dog is showing his respect for you when he obeys even a simple command like "sit".

Dogs are a 10-20 year commitment, depending on the breed you choose. Time and effort put into training during the first few years will pay off in dividends later on in life. You can't enjoy being around your dog when you're constantly irritated at him. A well trained dog is fun and easy to live with. They know how to behave in public so they can be taken on more family outings. The dog can be trusted around children, strangers and other animals because he has been taught appropriate behavior. Friends and family will enjoy visiting your home rather than avoiding you because of your dog's rowdy behavior. By taking your dog to obedience training, you are creating a confident, happy dog who will get to live a fuller life. This improves your life as well as that of your pet.

If you can't afford training classes, click here for printable training pages that will teach you how to effectively communicate with your dog and teach him necessary commands. All you need are these training sheets and some treats. You can use turkey hot dogs, cheese, leftover chicken. Just cut it up into bite size pieces and you are ready to go!