Why is training a dog so important?
Dogs are a separate species from people and as such have their own special needs and natural instincts. Veterinarians confirm that dogs communicate differently than we humans do, and many of their normal behaviors are counter to our own. Veterinarian Dr. Swapnil says “when we bring a dog or puppy into our homes and our lives we are asking them to change much of what is natural about their existence. We not only need to teach them how to fit in but also teach ourselves about their needs so that we can learn to accommodate them and adjust our expectations to make the best possible situation for both species; dog and human”. If pet owners do not take the time in training their dogs and educate themselves as well, it will lead to frustration for both the pet and the owner.
What is the best way to train my dog?
First and foremost, you want to make sure you train your dog in a manner that is “Dog-Friendly”. There are several training groups and individuals that do “dog-friendly” training. “dog-friendly” training is all about understanding and meeting the needs of our dogs as their own unique species, while keeping in mind that each dog is an individual and training them with methods and tools which are humane, gentle, kind and effective. Dog-Friendly training encourage behavior we like with high value rewards. It also helps in preventing or ignoring behavior we do not want.
What is the best way to train my dog in a “Dog-Friendly” manner?
The first step in training your dog is to educate yourself on the principles and methodology of teaching desired behaviors. You can do that by reading books, watching videos or attending a class. Just be careful and make sure you select books, videos and classes that are truly “Dog-Friendly”. Veterinarian Dr. Swapnil suggest people start with a good “dog-friendly” training class and supplement their learning with books and videos. There are several reasons to prefer “dog-friendly” classes over any other method of dog training. The first is that you have an instructor of whom you can ask questions. Good dog training instructors recognize that individual owners may learn differently. Some learn best by reading, some by observing and some by doing. The best classes will provide you with ample written instructions, a demonstration of how the instructor would train the behavior, and then an opportunity for you to practice the behavior while the instructor observes and assists you. At what age should I start training my dog? The best time to start training a dog is when they are a young puppy. It is never too late to start training, but the earlier you start, the easier training will be because neither you nor your dog will have acquired bad habits which require untraining.