Years ago, dog training courses were mainly intended for show dogs or for dogs who needed additional obedience training. However, today dog training courses are becoming the norm as more and more responsible pet owners are opting to sign up for training classes their beloved pups.
Why Dog Training Classes Are Useful For Your Canine Family Member?
Pet owners may be asking themselves the following questions:
Does my dog need obedience training?
Are training courses really necessary for my older dog?
Can’t I just train my dog myself?
What courses should I start with?
If you love your dog and consider them as part of your family, you want to do everything you can to make their lives happier. Dog training can not only help teach your pet necessary obedience skills, it can also help increase the bond between you and your furry friend. And most importantly, dog training courses can even help save your pet’s life!
In this blog post, we will discuss how your dog can benefit from dog training courses as well as the different type of courses that are offered.
Reasons to Train Your Dog
1) Improve Communication Skills
Dog training courses are a great way to enhance communication between you and your canine friend. You will learn how to teach your dog to pick up on hand signals, verbal cues and learn how to read your dog’s body language. Dogs can have a vocabulary ranging from 300-1,000 depending on their breed (Border collies have one of the largest known canine vocabularies. Communication is the key to a well-trained dog.
2) Strengthen the Bond Between You and Your Dog
Your dog wants to spend every waking minute with you. They aren’t called man’s best friend because they are loners. They want your time as well as your love and affection. Dog training courses can greatly help strengthen the bond between you and your beloved pooch. Of course, walking and playing with your dog will help increase this bond along with being the one to feed your dog at meal times. However, there is something special about the time you spend together in these courses. You and your dog will have a stronger bond by the end of the program than you did when you first started.
As dogs are pack members, they will naturally seek out an alpha or leader. They look to you for love and companionship, but they also need to know that you are the boss. Training courses will help them to see you as the leader of the pack. It will give you both an added sense of security and confidence in your relationship.
Your dog thrives on consistency as this provides them with both comfort and security. Try to keep your dog on a set schedule to provide them with these basic needs and keep the rules consistent all while incorporating a system of reward and discipline. You will most likely cover the basics of this in a dog’s obedience training course.
3) Improves Their Safety Skills
One of the most important reasons to enroll your dog in dog training courses is that it can literally save their life. Accidents do tend to happen. Even if you know where your beloved pup is every moment of every day, harnesses could break due to constant strain or your dog could be startled and run away. If properly trained however, your dog will know how to respond when you command him/her to return thus avoiding risking situations such as running onto a busy road.
Also, simple commands such as “Leave it!” could prevent your dog from eating something toxic such as poisonous mushrooms, plants, medication or food left on the streets by stray feeders/coffeeshop cleaners that might give your dog an upset tummy.
4) Increases Your Dog’s Level of Confidence
Dog training classes can help a shyer or less assertive dog gain confidence. Many places will actually have specific classes geared toward helping a dog gain self-confidence and overcoming shyness. You will be taught exercises to help your dog build confidence and trust. A confident dog is less likely to bite out of fear than a shy, more timid dog. A little confidence can do a long way, even for the most nervous and timid pooch!
5) Gives You Quality Time with Your Dog
Enrolling in dog training classes will help you spend quality time with your dog. This is especially true if you have a busy schedule and don’t get to spend as much time with your dog as you would like. Spending a few hours a week or even an hour, in a training class will give you much needed time to bond with your dog. As well, you will both get some fresh air (if it’s an outdoor class) and much needed exercise.
A well-trained dog is a pleasure to have around your home. You can spend time praising and rewarding your pet rather than correcting them. Plus, if your dog is properly trained, you will be able to take him more places such as dog parks, dog cafes, picnics by the beach and so forth. In addition, training your dog can help them sense impending dangers, which could potentially save both their life and yours as well.
6) Teaches Your Dog Necessary Obedience Commands
Some dogs have a problem learning even the simplest commands such as “sit” or “stay.” This does not mean that they cannot be taught, however. Dogs are just like people in that they all learn at a different pace. Training courses will teach your dogs the basic skills and commands that every pooch needs to know!
7) Helps Eliminate Behavior Issues
If your dog has behavioral issues such as chewing on furniture, digging, excessive barking, frequent indoor potty accidents and the like, she or he will benefit greatly from dog obedience training. Dog training classes helps to determine the “pack order” in your household. Your dog will learn his role and place in the family.
Furthermore, dog training can help prevent issues that arise from feelings of insecurity, abandonment issues and boredom. Your dog will learn ways to cope with their feelings in a positive way as well as ways to self soothe.
8) Teaches Your Dog Necessary Life Skills
Dog training classes can teach your dog basic life skills they need to cope on an everyday basis. From simple commands to self-soothing techniques, there is no limit to the number of things you can teach your canine friend. You will learn new things about your dog and how to care for them. Take note that properly certified dog trainers are up to date on the latest training methods. Dog training classes can be both fun and educational for both you and your pup of any age and breed!
9) Improves Your Dog’s Social Skills
Socializing your dog is extremely important, especially if you plan to take them on outings to dog parks and the like. This is also true if you are going to have a lot of visitors in your home. You want your dog to be used to being around both other people and other dogs as well.
Dogs are social beings by nature. However, they all have their own personalities, some dogs may be less social than others. It is important to train them how to properly socialize to prevent issues such as fighting with other dogs and so forth. A dog that does not have social skills tend to act out in aggression so it is crucial to ensure that your dog has socialization skills.
Group dog training courses are a great way to socialize your pooch. You will have the chance to watch your dog interact with other dogs under the guidance and supervision or a trained instructor. You will learn how to both distinguish and deter unwanted behaviors and learn the proper commands to prevent any harmful behaviors before they escalate.
Of course it is important to socialize a dog while he/she’s young, but older dogs also need to be properly socialized as well. This includes rescue dogs or dogs that have been adopted from a shelter.
10) Trained Dogs Are Less Likely to be Rehomed
Sadly, one of the main reasons that dogs are abandoned in shelter is due to behavior issues. Something as simple as proper training can easily eliminate behavior issues and thus prevent owners from having to surrender their pets. If you love your dog and want him to be a permanent part of your family, take the time to enroll in training courses to provide a happy and healthy environment for everyone and to decrease the chances of having to surrender your beloved dog due to a behavioral issue that could have easily been prevented with dog training classes.
Types of Dog Training Classes
Now that we have discussed why it is important to train your dog, we should discuss some of the different types of classes that are available.
When one hears the term “dog training”, obedience classes often come to mind. This is due to the fact that they are the most common type of canine training courses. Obedience course will teach your dogs basic commands such as “sit,” “down” and “stay.” Of course, you could teach your dog these commands on your own. However, there are many advantages to group classes. As mentioned above, the primary advantage of group training classes is that it teaches your dog socialization. Your dog will learn how to recognize your voice in a crowd, which could be beneficial later down the line.
Ideally, you should enroll your dog in obedience training as a puppy. However, we know that this is not always how things work as many dogs that are adopted or rescues are often older. However, if you have just acquired a puppy, the best time to start obedience training is around three to six months of age.
Your puppy will be taught to obey basic commands such as heel, come, sit, stay and so forth. As well, puppies will be taught proper house training and socialization skills.
Adult (6 months or older)
Obedience training for adult dogs can include some of the same skills and lessons that are included in puppy obedience training. However, they may also include additional courses for dogs with behavioral or social issues. Adult training will involve advanced techniques and methods so it is crucial that you attend the classes with your dog.
Specialized Dog Classes
Most places that offer obedience training will also offer specialized training courses for dogs. These include courses for dogs that are to be trained as police, rescue or detection dogs. Your dog will have had to receive a passing grade in their basic obedience course before they can move on to specialized training courses. As well, courses may be offered to train dogs to be event or show dogs as well as therapy dogs.
If your dog is showing any kind of behavior issues, you will want to enroll him/her in behavioral training courses. These are geared toward teaching dogs to curb or avoid negative or unwanted behaviors such as biting, chewing on furniture and other household items or aggression issues.
If your pooch has excelled at his or her basic obedience training and you feel that they are eager to go on to more advanced training, agility courses are a great place to start. Your dog will learn how to navigate through an obstacle course of tunnels, hurdles and other such obstacles. This fun packed course is exciting and entertaining for both dogs and owners alike. Your dog will learn more detailed and complex commands which will enhance their both their mind and their body. You can enroll in agility training simply for fun and exercise for your pup or you can even enter them in competitions.
Therapy Dog Training
A great way to socialize your dog is to have them certified as a therapy dog. They will have to undergo a series of classes to be certified, but acting as a therapy dog is rewarding for both you and your beloved pooch. Therapy dogs can be used in facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, retirement homes, orphanages, group homes and so on.
As you can see, dog training has many advantages. If you are serious about training your dog, check out some of our dog training classes. We promise you that it will be worth the effort. You will bond more closely with your dog and it will be an extremely rewarding and positive experience for both you and your pooch!