By Linda Cole
One reason why our relationship with dogs developed over the centuries is because they are pack and social animals. Our canine friends look to their people for guidance on how to behave and to learn what we expect from them. It’s up to us to educate our dogs through training and socialization. Dogs can’t be expected to follow our rules if they don’t know what those rules are. Teaching your dog obedience gives you and your pet some important benefits.
Obedience training is focused on teaching your dog basic commands, how to be social and how you expect your pet to behave. You can achieve these goals in one of three ways: by enrolling your dog in a quality dog obedience training school, by working with a qualified dog trainer, or doing it yourself using whichever positive training techniques you prefer. The benefits you gain will make living with your pet more enjoyable and less stressful, and your dog will gain self-confidence and be happier. Read on for six benefits of obedience training.
Basic commands all dogs should know include sit, come, drop it, leave it, stay, stop, wait, no, watch me and quiet. These commands help you better manage your pet as he encounters different situations throughout the day. They help to keep your dog safe and make it easier for you to control him when on a walk or at the dog park. Obedience training teaches your dog to greet people and other dogs in a calm way with manners. Better control makes it possible for you to take your pet to dog-friendly public parks, events and businesses, or bring him along on hiking and camping outings. It also eliminates the need to lock your dog away from guests when they visit your home.
It Can Save His Life
Even a well behaved dog could bolt if scared. A dog that will return to you when called can make the difference in a dangerous situation, like running out in front of an approaching car, racing out the door during a thunderstorm or running away while evacuating your home because of an impending natural disaster. Understanding the commands “stop” and “wait” is also important.
Provides a Solid Base
Working with your dog and practicing obedience commands each day using positive reinforcement builds a solid base that helps both of you deal with different situations you may face. A reliable sit/stay and watch me command makes it possible for you to keep him under control and avoid uncomfortable or potentially dangerous encounters when your dog waits and looks to you for instructions on what he should do. A solid foundation helps your pet understand what he does right and wrong, and eliminates confusion when he knows who is in charge.
Helps You Understand Your Dog
Obedience training gives you an opportunity to spend quality time with your dog. You can better understand his body language and the unique signals he uses to communicate with you. It gives your pet the tools he needs to succeed when he masters commands you want him to know.
Develops a Stronger Bond
Establishing a strong connection is essential, and training your dog with positive techniques is a great way to build trust and mutual respect while bonding. A well trained dog with good manners is more manageable, relaxed, content and confident. And it makes you a happier pet owner when your best buddy understands what you expect. According to research, dogs that have obedience training pay attention to their owners, which reduces stress on both sides and creates a loving relationship with your dog. The more time you spend with your dog, the better you know who he is as an individual, and the better he understands you will be a consistent and fair leader.
Provides Important Stimulation
With obedience training, you are providing your dog with other important things he needs in his life, such as mental stimulation, exercise, quality time alone with you, and having a job. Research has found that most dogs prize their favorite treat as a reward when they have an opportunity to earn it first. In your pet’s mind, it’s his “job” to master a command and it gives him satisfaction when he has to use his mind to solve a problem, like learning a new command. So be sure to have plenty of CANIDAE treats on hand to reward your dog during training sessions.
When working with your dog doing obedience training, remember to be consistent, patient and understanding. Some dogs take longer to learn a command, but all canines are capable of learning. When your dog is well trained and socialized, you may be interested in entering him in competitive obedience trials. You can learn more about this dog sport on the American Kennel Club’s website.
Read more articles by Linda Cole