Why you should train your dog

Many owners believe that dog training is only for those who wish to compete in obedience trials. This is akin to believing that only children who grow up to be doctors and lawyers should attend primary school! Unlike "training" children, we are unable to sit down and explain to a dog why we wish for them to act in a certain way and what the consequences are of inappropriate behaviour. It is necessary to learn how to get the dog to understand our wishes and ensure that he responds. Obedience or dog training clubs will guide the owner in the methods used to "train" dogs. The most effective methods utilise the dog's wish to please his owner, and he will readily do this if he is rewarded liberally with praise for the correct behaviour. Ten reasons to spend time training your dog:
  1. Training a pet dog is really an education for the dog and owner in how to live in harmony together.
  2. Training means spending time with your dog ? at least 10 minutes a day, practicing lessons learnt at "school". Both the dog and owner should find this time fun and it helps to strengthen the relationship between dog and owner.
  3. The dog will learn to respect the owner as the authority figure.
  4. Training will help overcome some common problems such as jumping on visitors.
  5. Training will add variety to the dog's life and help prevent boredom, which in turn overcomes the behavioural problems such as digging and unnecessary barking that often arise out of boredom.
  6. Training impresses people. While all the dogs around you are out of control you will be proud of your dog's response to your commands.
  7. Trained dogs are easier to handle when grooming or at the veterinary clinic.
  8. Some councils give concessions on annual registration fees for trained dogs.
  9. Trained dogs may compete in competitions. While it may not be your intention to train to this level it is possible to get hooked. Training should always be enjoyable and is a challenge for the dog and owner to achieve new levels. Competition ranges from basic commands through to agility, where dogs compete against the clock over an obstacle course, and tracking where dogs must follow a scent to find a person.
  10. Dogs that are trained are a pleasure to take for a walk and a pleasure to own.

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