There are a good number of reasons why you should train your dog of which the following include some of the more obvious :
1. Housetraining: Unless you are partial to the aroma of dog poop and pee then it would certainly make sense to, at the very least, have your dog housetrained. Yup! There’s no way round it, but that cute bundle of fur otherwise known as a puppy, unless taught to the contrary will quickly and happily turn your pristine house not only into his playground but also into his personal toilet. And make no mistake, this is not a problem that is going to disappear with age; any dog that is not housetrained be it a puppy or adult will soil your residence until it is taught not to!
2. Socializing: An unsocialized dog is generally an unhappy dog because such an animal finds it extremely difficult to interact comfortably with strangers or other dogs (and animals). This type of dog is characteristically nervous and highly-strung, which condition manifest as a dog with a hair-trigger response to aggression at the slightest perceived provocation (usually more imaginary than real) or a dog that slinks around in a constant state of fear. It matters little which errant behavior is displayed, the fact is either existence will be detrimental to the dog’s well-being.
3. Bonding: A well trained dog is a happy dog. When you and your dog understand one another well your relationship is going to be that much richer for it.The only way to achieve that level of harmony in your relationship with your dog is if you both work at understanding one another; and that will only be achieved through proper training. Besides dog training should be fun for you and your pooch, especially since it challenges and stimulates your dog’s mind. As frequently happens with human adolescents, a bored dog is going to be driven to destructive behavior; this is especially true in the smarter breed of dog.
Types of Dog Training
These days there are quite a number of different dog training techniques, enough to accommodate everybody dog owner out there. Some are very popular and come highly recommended whilst others seem to be a throwback to a more primitive time and age when we didn’t understand man’s best friend as we do now. The following lists some of the more commonly used methods of dog training:
1. Reward Training
Currently a big favorite in dog training circles, this technique employs the use of treats to reinforce good and desired behavior patterns executed by your dog. When used correctly this is a pretty effective training technique but its downside is that it is fairly easy to abuse the system and thus nullify its effectiveness by giving your dog treats at times other than during dog training sessions.
2. Clicker Training
Clicker training is a classic Pavlovian technique that utilizes conditional training through sensory association. As the name suggests the clicker, which is a plastic box with an inbuilt metal strip that makes the actual clicking sound, is used in conjunction with a treat or something your dog finds highly desirable to reinforce and encourage a particular behavior. In time the treat reward is removed yet the dog still associates a given behavior with the sound of the clicker and thus performs that behavior in the absence of the treat.
3. Whistle Training
Dogs have far better hearing than people and can hear frequencies that our ears cannot pick up. It is on the basis of this premise that the ultrasonic whistle functions which means that since you cannot hear it but your dog can (supposedly) it can be a little tricky getting to grips with its use.
4. Dog Whispering
Yeah sounds a bit corny doesn’t it and most likely the name of this method is an obvious offshoot reference from the 1998 Robert Redford movie (starring amongst others a young Scarlett Johansson) titled the Horse Whisperer themed around a man who had an uncanny ability to communicate with horses. Anyway these days Dog Whispering is now a broadly accepted term and its training technique is based on understanding a dog’ body language and the many unvocalized signals that are part and parcel of dog communication.
These four examples above are just a few of the dog training methods available and in fact there are a whole slew of collar based training methods that have not been listed here partly because some of them are archaic and barbaric such as electric collar training or prong collars.
In summary, this article barely touches the tip of the iceberg as far as dog training is concerned but the thing to remember is that utilizing dog training in the everyday life of your pooch will greatly enrich the relationship the two of you share.
Article on dog training written by Kayye Nynne
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