dog training, dog behavior, dog health
 

Do You Train Your Dog - or Does Your Dog Train You?

Your dog is a member of your family.  Just as children do, puppies need rules and schedules, praise and attention, and playtime.  Left alone a puppy will grow into a dog that jumps on visitors and family members, makes a mess in the house time after time, won't come when called, and destroys property.   Training your dog avoids those problems and the frustration that comes with them.

It takes so little time and effort to turn a puppy or adopted older dog into a pet that will adore you and try his best to please you.  Training is not something that can be left for another time but should start when you bring your new dog into your home.  He will be happier for it, and so will you.

There are many well tested training methods available for dog owners to utilize and many of the larger pet warehouse stores conduct free or inexpensive training classes where owners can take their dog and learn to train and handle their dog effectively. 

A training session for a puppy should be only 5-10 minutes long.  He will lose focus quickly and 3-4 short training sessions spread through the day can work wonders.  With older dogs, fifteen minutes of training at a time is usually enough.  The learning sessions require a calm, firm voice and manner as well as the ability to be consistent in voice commands and hand commands.  If the owner loses his temper or at the other extreme allows the dog to get by with not learning the commands or if he stops to play instead of training, he will find his dog will train him.  Teaching your dog to "come" is simple - if you instead allow the dog to disobey and you end up chasing him, you have just created a new way for him to get your attention. 

An owner with little to spare or who feels they will not be consistent in training might consider professional training as an alternative.  If the training methods used are humane, it doesn't matter who does the training as long as it gets done.

There are excellent trainers available who operate small facilities at their homes.  They require the dog be left with them for 3-4 weeks.  At the end of that time, the owner must spend a couple hours with the trainer and be trained to handle the dog. The owner will learn how to give the commands, how to handle the dog and how to insure the good behavior is reinforced daily.  Before choosing this option, references of the trainer should be checked and the facilities inspected.  You would also want to discuss the training methods used to avoid exposing your much loved pup to harsh treatment.  Cost for such training begins at about $300 for a full month.

The owner who sucessfully trains his own dog will gain a greater understand of the personality and quirks of his pet and that will benefit both the dog and the person.  An owner with little to spare or who feels they will not be consistent in training might consider professional training as an alternative.  If the training methods used are humane, it doesn't matter who does the training as long as it gets done.  A well trained dog is a pleasure to live with and to take with you when you go for an outing.