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The Benefits of Training your Dog

People used to think that training was a luxury for dog owners, and was something that was an option if you wanted to have a more obedient dog. Training was only seen as commands and tricks. However, with the development of how we understand dogs we now know that training and behavioural shaping is incredibly important. In fact I would go as far to say that it is an obligation for anyone who has a dog.

Upon getting a dog you have agreed to take on a huge responsibility. One of these is the ensure your dog is safe and comfortable in their environment and is safe and comfortable to be around. This is one of the biggest things that appropriate training does. However, there are many great reasons to train your dog.

To Build a Good Relationship with your Dog Understanding your dogs behaviour better is one of the best ways to build a healthier relationship with them. Using the most up to date training methods helps to make learning as rewarding, successful and easy as possible.

To Teach Life Skills Every dog needs to learn how to live successfully in a human environment. Teaching your dog basic life skills and reaching their activity requirements by providing them with enough mental enrichment and physical exercise will prevent them from developing anxiety and other stress related behaviours such as destructive chewing, inappropriate barking and aggressive behaviour.

An important part of the learning process is to set your dog up for success by managing the environment and making it easy for them to do well. This begins with understanding how your dog copes in certain situations.

For example, if your dog is highly sociable and loves new people coming into your house, teach them to greet calmly, without jumping up or overwhelming your guest as they enter. This helps reduce over excitable behavior while still allowing them to enjoy the new person visiting.

Or, if your dog is wary or fearful of people, take pressure off of them by having them positioned behind a baby gate or in there own room as the person comes into the house enter. This reduces their stress and helps your dog stay emotionally stable. Space is vitally important for dogs that are socially inexperienced or fearful, and managing your environment to reduce pressure keeps everyone happy and safe.

To Increase Sociability Increasing your dog’s enjoyment of social interaction will give confidence in dealing with the pressures of living in human environment. Training your dog to 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. It is therefore vital to appropriately socialise your dog by giving them good calm experiences in the presence of all kinds of people, animals and environments.

Avoid Problem Behaviour Dogs don't speak any human languages, as such it is paramount that we build up a language of communication. The more time you invest teaching your dog the more you will avoid problem behaviour that come from lack of understanding what is expected of them.

Many dogs respond well to cues in a training environment, but cannot follow any of these in the real world. As such in addition to basic training, we should always put the work into proofing the behaviour and training we need from our dogs.

The issue with training is that the industry is still not regulated, and although there are great certification organisations (such as IAABC) to ensure you find a training who will not cause more harm and will use the most up to date training methodology, it boils down to the dog owners to ensure they perform to the best of their ability to ensure your dog has the best life possible.

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