The biggest problem with dogs these days are…. the owners! It’s sad but true.
You must keep in mind that your dog is an animal (I know its difficult to believe), and although their original “wild instincts” have been dulled through hundreds of years of domestication, those instincts are still there and must be controlled and dulled even further through proper training and socialization.
As you read on the Anti-Dog Bite Page, there is a major problem with dog bites going on throughout this country and the major factor in all these bites is owner neglect… that’s right neglect! Either through ignorance or fear, people are getting the wrong dogs for them or getting the right dogs for the wrong reasons. This, coupled with lack of training or downright abuse are causing “good” dogs to be “bad”.
But in many cases, the dog bites and/or bad behaviors can be prevented utilizing one little cure….. Basic Obedience training.
Believe it or not, the most difficult task in training a dog is training the owner!
A dog can learn over 200 voice commands, these commands coupled with visual signals will give you a perfect pet, but it takes time…. as in six weeks, that’s right six weeks! I have trained hundreds of dogs and owners and if the owner takes the time to show up once a week, then do their homework till the next class, they will have very a “good” dog in the end.
Dogs live an average of 10-15 years, would you rather be at odds with your dog for this time, scolding and reprimanding it for bad behaviors that you inadvertently taught it. Or would you rather spend this time living with a loving and trusting companion that knows what you expect, because you took the time to properly train and build a lifetime bond with each other?
“Oh, but I just don’t have the time, I am much to busy.” Well you had the time to properly train and socialize your other family members such as your kids, didn’t you? and don’t think that I threw in the kid’s reference as a general statement, dogs are really no different from children, they are very impressionable and therefore need rules, guidance, and socialization to properly fit into the family and society.
Also, some people send their dog away to be trained by someone else due to “not having enough time”, which in my opinion is not a good idea as they will not properly bond and gain trust with each other. Sure, when the dog comes back it might know the basics… but the owner won’t. This bonding and trust is the key to good obedience and also continuing training/advancement for both of you.
“Oh, but I’m not a dog trainer, I don’t know what to do!”, it’s easy just check with your local schools, Vets or Animal Shelter they will give you information and contacts to the local dog trainers, where you will then go and learn how to speak “dog”. Just be sure the trainer and group ” feel” right for you.
“Oh, but I just don’t have the money to train my dog”, normally a class will cost around 25 – 60 bucks (that’s for the entire six week course!), sure your investing a few dollars, but the return will be enormous, as in a very well-behaved, stable and obedient pet for the next 10-15 years!
Running out of reasons yet? Well get into class then, here’s what a course will normally consist of:
Dogs should enter training around 6 months of age and no dog is too old to enter training, depending on health. But as with any stressful activity, the safety of you and your pet should be paramount, meaning: always have plenty of water, food, snacks and other necessities, such as 6 ft. leash, appropriate sized training collar, poopy bags, first aid kit (yes, for your dog too!) on hand. I have a doggy travel bag that contains all these items both for training and playing, and I am never without it!
The first day is “socialization” both with other people and animals, the biggest problem these days is that animals are not socialized with people and/or each other which directly causes most dog bites (see our Anti-Dog Bite page). During the socialization, they will evaluate your pet and give you tips to prepare it for the upcoming training.
During the course, you will learn about Responsible Pet Ownership and your pet will get training which will make it a more stable, loving and obedient pet.
The remaining training days, once a week for five weeks (with homework) will be devoted to training not only the pet but also you, in basic obedience techniques.
You will learn how to properly teach and command the dog and the dog will learn how to properly execute the command(s).
Things you and your pet will learn:
* How to effectively communicate with each other.
* Proper leash control.
* Voice and hand commands.
* Various commands and techniques such as Sit, Down, Healing and the most important of all STAY!
You will also be taught how to get your dog to learn a lot of other advanced commands and also some cool tricks.
Should you decide to take your dog to more advanced levels, you will not have just a good dog, you will have an awesome companion!