There has been a lot of discussion about obedience training for dogs. Dog owners prefer having well-trained dogs, and some have even looked into doing the training themselves. Over the years, several myths and misconceptions have popped up about obedience training. Many dog owners believe leaving well enough alone is the best approach and don't train their dogs if they don't see a need for it. While you may not actually see a need for training your dog, your pet may still need the training. Obedience training is more than just a tool for controlling your pet. It's to help them have self-control as well. It teaches discipline in a unique way that appeals to a dog's inner nature. Here, we look at why obedience training is necessary for dogs.
Why Train Your Dog?
Training for your dog shouldn't be an afterthought. It should be part of how you raise your pet. With proper obedience training, a pet owner could control their dog even when unrestrained. There's less likely that your pet will run off and get hit by a car if you can bring them to heel on command. Training also teaches your pet to respect the boundaries of other pets and their owners. This understanding improves their social interactions and helps them make friends easier. If you have to leave your dog with a friend or relative, training helps with this. It does help to have a nice calming pet bed to help with anxiety, but they're less likely to feel abandoned in those situations. But do you need someone to train your dog for you, or can you do it yourself?
Professional or DIY Training?
As a pet owner, you may feel a bit strange looking for someone to train your pup. In some cases, hiring a professional trainer can benefit you. They will socialize your pet and ensure that they have the best treatment. On the other side of the equation, you have to consider how those trainers are getting the job done. There are no guarantees that you'll have a trainer who'll understand the best way to get your dog to obey you. The alternative is teaching your pet on your own.
DIY training also has its own challenges to overcome. Several training techniques have become fashionable and changed over time. Many pet owners think that the same principles that were accepted in the past would work today. However, animal behavioral psychologists have figured out that dogs respond differently to stimuli, and how they learn is more complicated than we had believed in the past. Before you can successfully train your dog, you have to figure out he or she best grasps concepts.
Understanding How Dogs Learn
You've no doubt heard of Pavlov by now, but if you haven't, he's a famous researcher from the past that figured out how to train dogs to do certain things on command. Pavlov would feed a dog and ring a bell. Later on, whenever he rang the bell, the dog would start salivating because the pup expected food would be coming soon. Today's training methods are much more sophisticated than that, but they rely on a similar response from pets. Reward-based training is how most professionals describe these types of lessons. Obedience training depends on using rewards to reinforce good behavior in your pets. If the pup performs something that the trainer asks of them, then they get a treat. This practice shows the dog that this behavior is acceptable and encouraged.
Unfortunately, dogs can't understand human speech, especially the tones involved. Some of them may be sensitive enough to pick up on verbal stress cues, but most can't tell the difference between when you're celebrating them or when you're mad at them. Praise or condemnation, therefore, may seem like the same thing to a dog. If a dog does something wrong, then yelling at the pup won't help them behave any better. If anything, it'd make the dog feel as though they performed a good act and may help to reinforce their bad behavior. This result is usually the complete opposite of what you're going for.
Another outdated training technique is establishing dominance. The false narrative of "the alpha dog" came about because behavioral psychologists saw dogs as pack animals. The idea followed that, for a dog to obey you, you'd have to show them who was more dominant. Today, we understand that this approach can cause your dog significant stress and even lead to them lashing out because of your control. Problem behaviors such as fear aggression have a higher chance of occurring when you use this technique.
Focus On The Attitude
The crucial part of training a dog is to ensure that you keep it fun. Keep your training sessions for short periods. Dogs respond better in the moment, and the longer you train your pup, the more exhausted he or she will get. They will start to react much slower when they start getting mentally tired. You should also keep training to times when both you and your pet are in a good mental state. Don't train while you're angry or anxious since you might pass these feelings onto your dog.
If you live in a household with more people who interact with the dog, it's essential to set standards of how you'd like the pup to behave. Everyone must be on the same page regarding behavior. If you aren't, your puppy will become confused, and the training will stop working. Your dog won't understand the differences between what one person thinks is right and what the other person does. They don't see differing opinions in humans and can't detect these subtle nuances of behavior. To your pet, all humans are masters, and everything should remain the same when dealing with all of us.
Training Helps Both You And Your Pet
When you train your pet, you develop a bond with the pup. This bond becomes stronger through your shared perspectives of a pet and master. Don't think about training as a way to control your pet. Instead, see it as a way so that you and your pup can grow and develop together. Training changes you as much as it changes them because it helps you appreciate the world from your pet's perspective.