Dog training isn’t what it used to be. It wasn’t long ago that dog training consisted of lots of firmness and corrections. With all that firmness and all those corrections it can really break a dog’s spirit and also affect your relationship. This was my fear a long time ago when my dog V was a puppy. I didn’t know much about training but I feared that training him would change who he was. The good news is that with reward based training, your dog will still be happy and confident when you’re asking for behaviors. Let’s look at 5 reason to teach behaviors.
1. Teaching behaviors gives you a way to communicate with your dog. This means if you need your dog to do something, you can teach them how to and put it on cue.
2. Working on behaviors can be a lot of fun. When practicing the behaviors and having them broken down into achievable steps, you’ll notice that your dog is really enjoying it. (And you’ll enjoy it too!)
3. Training provides enrichment. 10 minutes of training will work your dog’s brain. Lots of unwanted behaviors happen frequently due to a lack of enrichment.
4. You never know when you’ll need it. As our dogs age, sometimes they need to go to physical therapy. Some of the exercises done in physical therapy consist of position changes. (Sit, down, stand etc.) If this has been taught ahead of time, it’s going to be a smoother process for our dogs.
5. It can save their life. Stay and Coming When Called are two things that every dog should learn. You never know when you’ll need to call your dog back to you or ask them to stay to prevent something from happening.
Training also doesn’t mean you have to teach every single thing. Doing so can be overwhelming and unnecessary. Just focus on teaching behaviors that will make life easier.