Five Reasons Why Obedience Training Is Good for You and Your Dog!
Perhaps the most compelling reason to attend an obedience class with your dog is SAFETY! Obedience will help keep your dog safe, keep you safe, keep members of the public safe and of course keep other dogs safe. The hours you spend developing solid obedience skills with your dog might make the difference between life and death or serious injury.
A solid recall or a “down” command might prevent an off leash dog escaping onto a busy street and causing a car accident. A proper “heel” command could prevent a dog pulling you off your feet and causing an injury. A great “focus” command may prevent your dog from getting involved in a fight with another dog. All of these skills need to be built over time and can be called upon in moments of potential danger.
2. To prevent behaviour problems
The second most important reason to work on your dog’s obedience is to prevent behaviour problems from arising in the future. Most people who contact a professional dog trainer for advice do so because their dog is already causing a significant problem in their lives. Problems such as nuisance barking, destructive behaviours in the house or garden, jumping up on people or furniture can make life with a pooch stressful.
However, most of these so called problem behaviours are in fact natural behaviours for dogs. If you were a dog, wouldn’t you love to dig up a garden?! What a great way to release your energy. Unfortunately many things that come naturally to dogs in a canine world are unwanted in the human world. Therefore the best approach is a preventative one. Working on your dog’s obedience helps create wanted behaviours on demand and helps prevent unwanted behaviours.
3. To provide mental stimulation for your dog
You may spend a good hour or so every day exercising your dog to make sure he is tired before you leave him alone and head off to work. Congratulations if you do! Exercise is absolutely essential for dogs.
However, he needs mental stimulation too. Dogs are intelligent creatures. As little as 10 to 15 minutes a day of regular obedience training can help drain a dog’s energy. You can either work your obedience session into your daily walk or find additional time at the end of the day to work on those skills.
4. To create a firmer bond
Dogs evolved from wolves to become the perfect companions to humans. There are over 400 breeds of dog. This makes them the most varied land mammal on planet earth. Their evolutionary success is a direct result of their desire to bond with humans. It is in their DNA to want to please you. Your dog WANTS you to give him a job. He WANTS you to tell him what to do.
It may not seem like that at times, but when you have developed solid obedience skills you’ll see how much your dog enjoys your attention and your commands. It is what she was bred for. It is why she exists. When you tell a dog what to do and then you praise and reward her for doing it correctly, fireworks go off in her doggy brain. She’s delighted. You’ve made her day!
Obedience is, and should always be, fun. It is something you should look forward to doing with your dog each day. If your obedience session is not fun and you ever become frustrated, STOP! Obedience should NEVER be a chore for you or Fido.
Instead of focusing on everything he’s doing wrong, ask yourself what am I doing wrong? What confusing signals am I giving to my dog? How can I better motivate her to focus on me? If you don’t know the answer, seek the help of a professional, read a book, watch a video. Don’t ever take it out on your dog. Its not her fault - it is yours! Only you can fix it.