Posted in Doggies on 04. Jul, 2012
The Importance of Proper Dog Training
According to a yearlong study by The Standard of Veterinary Excellence, among the top ten reasons for dog relinquishment include the cost of pet maintenance, inadequate facilities, and no time. Of particular interest, a whopping 96% of relinquished dogs have not received any obedience training.
Eating shoes? Jumping on guests? Running around uncontrolled? A dog that isn’t taught right from wrong has no way to know what behaviors are appropriate and which aren’t. From obedience class to professional training, aside from providing a proper chance at life dog training serves many functions including:
Establishing Your Role
With a haircut that mirrors his first name, you’re sure to have heard it time and time before: you need to be the pack leader. In the wild dogs develop a hierarchy where the alpha dog (or pack leader) leads with the safety and survival of the pack first and foremost, including everything from food and water to shelter. Every other dog, accordingly, takes a more submissive role as they depend on the leader for, well, life.
By following versus fighting this ingrained instinctual behavior proper training will enable you to quickly establish your role as the leader. Once accomplished, like in the wild your dog will depend on you for survival and the overall lead. Of course, this will earn you far more than a feather in your cap -you’ll have your dogs’ ear which serves to ensure easier, quicker, and more effective training.
Ensuring Everyone’s Safety
Sure, your safety and the safety of your dog are paramount. However, assuming you don’t live a bubble there’s a whole outside world that can be negatively impacted by an unpredictable and undisciplined dog. From attacking bystanders to potentially running away across a busy street if off leash, an undisciplined dog is a ticking time bomb of tragic consequences. Simple training, and I’m not taking fetching the paper and turning to the sports page, will ensure everyone’s safety should the worst case scenario occur.
It takes me a good 20 minutes to walk around the block with my dog. And I live in one of the most densely populated cities in the US whose blocks can nearly be leaped in a single bound.
No, my dog is not lazy, old, or slow. Rather, the entire neighborhood knows her and is eager to provide a belly rub in return for a doggy kiss. Indeed, the joy she brings others is only magnified when I see her reaction. With a less than stellar breed reputation for not necessarily the right reasons (she’s a Pit Bull), proper and consistent training ensures she’s a model canine citizen and a strong ambassador for the breed.
Ensuring a Better Life for All
A properly trained dog will not chew your new coffee table, beg for food, or fight his or her way onto the couch. Add to the list bark, which can directly impact the quality of life for all in the neighborhood.
Like the finer things in life, successful training won’t occur overnight. Rather, it requires plentiful patience and calm consistency, coupled with a large amount of positive reinforcement. Like your (okay, pre-recession) 401K, a bit of investment on the frontend will pay off with strong gains –happiness, security, and safety- for the long run.
Eric Bogard is a writer for Pet Dreams, a designer of high quality, affordable dog beds. He is a fan and advocate of all things Pit Bulls, taking care of his well-trained clown in black and white clothing named Pepper.