January-Train Your Dog Month

Dog Training Is a Must

dog-training.jpgSit. Stay. Heel.

Most of us mean to train our dogs, right? And usually we do, although we may not do more than housebreaking. Do you wonder if it’s worth the bother to fully train your dog?

Well, yes, it is, because of a dog's nature. Every Springfield veterinary hospital and all Springfield vets can tell you horror stories about untrained dogs. But it doesn't have to be that way. And in fact, it shouldn't. 

Dogs Need Leadership

First of all, dogs are pack animals. You may think of your furry pal as a family member, but your dog sees you as his pack. And he needs to know who the leader is. If it’s not one of the human family members, and the dog believes himself to be the leader, that dog is going to have behavioral problems. He’s going to think he can set all the rules. Bark whenever he wants to? Jump on people and pull on the lead?  Be aggressive towards humans or other dogs? Sure. Because they’re his rules and no leader has shown him otherwise. Firm but friendly leadership will teach your dog that you are the boss, and show him how you expect him to behave.

Training Options

One way to work with your dog is to enroll him in a socializing class. By working in a group (and under your leadership) your dog learns how to behave properly with other dogs and people he doesn’t know.

Dogs will willingly sit, lie down, walk on a loose leash and not pick fights with other dogs if they have been properly trained. If a class is not to your liking, you can teach your dog these skills on your own, but you must be patient and consistent for the lessons to be effective and the results long-lasting.

Some dogs need training for everyday home life, and by working with rewards and kind, calm corrections, a dog can be taught to be a proper and polite family member.

The time spent training together, and the mutual respect you develop, helps to deepen the bond between you and your dog, as well.  And a well-trained dog is generally safer and happier than a dog who is allowed to decide on his own how to behave in any given circumstance.

Breed Influences Behavior

Some dog breeds are said to be easier to train than others. Golden Retrievers, Labs, Welsh Corgis, Poodles, Collies, and the Papillon are considered among the easiest dogs to train. The Corgis can be stubborn little guys, but they do like to please, and that helps in the training process. The Papillon, unlike most toy breeds, is a cooperative and willing little dog.

On the other hand, trainers say that most hounds, Basenjis, Mastiffs, Pekingese, ChowChow, Beagles, Dalmations, Pugs, Malamutes and Huskies are among the more difficult dogs to train. Scent hounds tend to be distracted by scents; sight hounds are easily distracted by movement in the visual field. Extremely large dogs like Mastiffs can resist training simply because at their size they can, while small dogs like the Peke, Pug and Dachsund often show a stubborn streak. Very active dogs like the Malamutes and Huskies require more time during training, and a lot of exercise to help them calm down enough to focus.

Still, no matter what breed of dog you have, all dogs can be trained. If you need a trainer’s help, be sure to find a reliable and gentle trainer. You want to be able to trust your dog under any and all conditions, and he needs to be able to trust you in return. 

If you'd like a referral for a trusted in-home trainer, please call us for our personal recommendation today:  883-7297.