Obedience training provides you with the basic foundation for preventing and solving just about any problem your pup may dream up. Training opens up an effective line of communication between you and your new friend and, if you’re consistent, instills a sense of mutual trust. Trust is an integral part of training; if your puppy trusts you, he’ll be willing to listen to you. And if he listens to you, he’ll be easy to control and guide through any situation the two of you may encounter, whether inside or out! Obedience training is one of the best things you can do for your puppy and yourself!
• Training will give your puppy clear and concise rules and boundaries that will enhance your standing in his eyes and help him feel secure and “part of the pack.” Dogs thrive on structure, but left on their own, they invent their own rules! Obedience training, when practiced consistently, teaches your dog what your rules are so he can relax and just be a dog – not the CEO of your household.
• Training teaches your dog to be polite and exercise self-control. He’ll learn that in order to get something from you – a greeting, a game of Fetch, a walk, a belly rub, a seat next to you on the sofa – he’s got to say, “Please,” by sitting or lying down. Jumping, barking, mouthing, and nipping won’t earn him anything at all; in fact, those behaviors will just make you walk away. In other words, your puppy will learn that all of the things he loves and enjoys can be earned by being obedient.
• Positive training methods teach your puppy that you’re a loving, benevolent leader that’s capable of caring and providing for the entire pack. It gives your dog every reason to respond willingly to your instructions because he’s learned that he’ll be rewarded for making the right choices.
• It will give him the self-confidence he needs as he explores his world and everything in it because you’ll be right there guiding, directing, and encouraging him every step of the way. As his confidence increases, so will yours. Should he ever exhibit any signs of shyness, fearfulness or aggression, you’ll know exactly what to do to prevent it from developing any further.
• He’ll be easier for vets and groomers to handle. Any good puppy training program is going to include lots of handling exercises along with instructions to practice them with as many different people as possible. The sooner you start getting him accustomed to being held, petted, gently restrained, and passed around, the better he’ll be when he visits the vet and groomer.
• Obedience training teaches reliability which equals more freedom. A well-mannered dog is a joy to own because he can go virtually anywhere without being a risk or nuisance to others. It’s such a pleasure when your dog exhibits appropriate behavior in a crowd, good manners when guests visit your home, is reliable around children, and doesn’t threaten other dogs or people passing by.
• Trained dogs are more likely to keep their homes forever. Obedience training can ultimately save the lives of many dogs, because far fewer dogs would end up in animal shelters if their owners would simply take the time to train them. Statistics show that when puppies receive early socialization and obedience training they’re far less likely to end up being destroyed by the time they turn two years of age than those that do not receive this early training. It doesn’t have to be this way. Smart Dawgs offers a multitude of training programs; there’s one to fit every lifestyle.
• Training may save your puppy’s life by teaching him how to cope in a human world. How’s he suppose to know that electrical cords aren’t chew toys, that Kleenex causes untold numbers of puppy deaths annually, or that cars aren’t edible prey? As he’s learning which behaviors “pay” and which don’t, he’ll also be learning which ones are safe and which ones aren’t.
• Obedience training builds good two-way communication skills. Canine communication comes in a variety of forms, but they’re not verbal creatures. They use movements of their ears, eyes, eyebrows, tongue, mouth, head, tail, and paws, various postures and weight distributions, and vocalizations such as barks, growls, whines, whimpers, and howls. A good training program will help you identify, define and teach specific words so that you and your puppy will always be able to understand each other’s needs.
• Obedience training will provide you with a better understanding of your dog’s behavior; he’s not being stubborn, spiteful or showing jealousy.
• How to anticipate and prevent problem behaviors before they start, such as jumping up on people, chewing everything within reach, guarding toys or food, or eliminating in the middle of your living room carpet.
• How to use all of your puppy’s favorite things – not just food – as his currency that he can earn through obedience or lose through disobedience!
• How dogs think and learn. Dr. Phil often refers to babies as, “Blank slates waiting to be written on.” Just like kids, dogs are learning something from you every second that you’re together. Working with a trainer will give you the skills necessary to insure that you’re teaching your dog what you think you’re teaching him; not as easy as it may sound!
• Training may save your dog’s life. Obedience training gives you the verbal and visual control necessary to prevent numerous potential tragedies. Every dog knows how to Sit, Down, Stay, Heel, and Come, but teaching him to do it on cue, especially around distractions, may someday be the key to saving his life.
Training will help both of you keep a positive attitude about working together through all of the problems that are bound to pop up as he moves through the various life-stages, from puppyhood to senior citizen. Like any new skill, obedience training does take time and effort. However, once you see your dog growing and responding the way you want him to, it can also be very rewarding! Imagine how proud you’ll be when your pup no longer mugs everyone that walks by on the street but instead “Sits” at your side and turns to you for praise as they approach! Or when you take him to the dog park to play and he actually runs to you when it’s time to leave.
With proper guidance from a knowledgeable trainer, obedience training can be fun for everyone and the results should be immediate. The best programs show you how to train in brief, real-life sessions that seamlessly integrate the training into your everyday life.
So what are you waiting for? The best time to start any training program is today!