So now you have a dog in the family? Excellent! Studies show that dog owners live longer, happier lives. But what now?
Obedience training is one of the most important things you can do – for your dog and for yourself. The goal is to be able to use that foundation to overcome any behavior issues, should they arise.
Effective communication with your dog is the most important key. You can literally teach a dog anything with good communication. Well, that and lots of patience. Without good communication, it will be nearly impossible.
Dogs are fun-loving animals, and without any obedience training they will act like, well, animals! They will keep you awake all night barking, chew up your belongings and generally will make life harder. They might even bite you! You don’t want your dog bolting for the door anytime freedom is offered him, and you don’t want to spend hours trying to find a dog who doesn’t understand where his home is. By training your dog, we eliminate all these problems.
Most “behavior problems,” or things we don’t want happening, are completely normal behavior for dogs. Dogs are good-natured animals: they want to help protect you and your family and live a happy life. They just need some coaching to control their instinctive behavior and to work in modern living spaces, like your home.
Dog obedience training also establishes the owner as the pack leader. As the leader, you establish the behavior guidelines for the rest follow. If there is no pack leader established, the dog will assume he is the pack leader. All dogs have an extremely wide capacity to learn basic obedience. They just need someone to teach it to them.
The first step in obedience training is to have fun with the dog, and as cheesy as this may sound, show him love and compassion. Give your dog a reason to respect you. Only use commands such as “stay” when you literally want your dog to stay. Like on a walk. Never say “stay” if the dog has no choice other than to stay – such as leaving your dog in your car for a second.
Next, respect your dog’s behavior and gently lay groundwork as to what is and what is not acceptable. Praise your dog for good behavior instead of chastising him for bad behavior. This lets your dog know the proper way to behave, and the good behavior replaces the instinctive behavior.
Also, never abuse your dog trying to train it. Every dog has a different personality, just like humans. Learn and adapt to your dog’s personality, and you will be successfully train them.
Always remember the reason you got a dog to begin with: happiness, companionship, and fun.