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Training a puppy is necessary for it to grow into a well-behaved and happy dog. It’s part of responsible dog ownership to give your puppy sufficient training in the basics of acceptable dog behavior. If your puppy passes this stage and has absorbed the basic training, you can then let it move forward to the more advanced dog behavior training.
Here are more reasons to motivate you to train your dog the right way.
1. Starting with Basic Puppy Training Guarantees It Will Not Learn Bad Habits
It’s important to remember that a puppy doesn’t have the same mind and attitude of an adult dog. Acquiring your puppy at a very young age is good because you won’t have to deal with a lot of bad habits learned from other owners. It pays to be vigilant yet patient with the puppy. Never punish the puppy with harsh treatment since this only teaches the puppy to be afraid of you.
2. Training Your Puppy Allows its Mind and Senses to be Stimulated for Normal Development
To be effective with training a puppy, it is critical that it’s at least 3 weeks of age, 17 weeks at maximum. This is known as the “socialization age” for puppies so that they will learn how to socialize with other puppies that are roughly the same age. Correct socialization helps your puppy to learn how to play and behave in acceptable ways with other puppies. If the puppy has antisocial tendencies, socialization is a good way to detect these so they can be corrected gradually.
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3. Training Your Puppy Uses Up Surplus Energy
Your puppy might be a real powerhouse of energy, so it needs to be utilized somehow to prevent destructive behavior. Chewing on the welcome mat or wrecking your indoor shoes are common examples. Letting your puppy have the right training means it devotes its energy to the right behavior. You know that the training is correct if the puppy remains calm the whole day, after training sessions, meaning the surplus energy is spent. If you feel that the puppy is getting over trained, you can split its training hours into two batches (once in the morning and once in the afternoon).
4. Training Your Puppy Helps It to Get Used to Commands
Since your puppy is at such a young age, it looks up to its owner as its surrogate parent. This being the case, you will be able to start training it to follow certain commands. For example, if your puppy is at the other side of a room, you can train it to approach you if you say, “come here”. You can also train it to recognize the sound of its own name, at this stage.
Once the puppy has learned one command, allow it to get used to that command on a daily basis first. Once it has mastered that, you can move on to other commands like “sit” or “fetch”. Do not mix up commands since that will make the puppy confused.
5. Training Your Puppy Through Repetition Reinforces Lessons
For your puppy to be able to remember past lessons, it’s important to repeat lessons as it gets older. This may mean adding each lesson every day and then testing it at some point. For instance, if the puppy has learned “come here”, “sit” and “fetch”, you can then have a mastery test of using all three commands one by one. If it has indeed mastered the three commands, do repeat these daily for around a week, just so the lessons are reinforced. Afterwards, you can move on to other lessons such as learning how to walk while attached to a leash.
6. Training Your Puppy Through Play Makes Lessons More Fun
You should allow your puppy to have fun while you are teaching it because that is how puppies learn. You shouldn’t expect the puppy to learn like a machine, in a linear fashion. Rather, your puppy will want you to make the lesson fun and rewarding. You can start by giving a small treat every time it has listened to your command and by giving it verbal reassurance. You can also test if it will carry out the command even without an immediate treat, just using the sound of your voice. If it does that, then the lesson will just need more reinforcement at times with a treat.
For information on how to take your puppy training to the next level, do consult Flash Dog Training.
TRAINING ADULT DOGS
7. Training Your Adult Dog Can Improve Your Relationship With It
You probably already know that training an older dog is much different from training a puppy. Actually, it would be ideal if the dog you are training is the same one you trained as a puppy because there is continuity of the relationship. If you adopted an adult dog though there may be some history there that you need to learn about first.
If no one knows much about the adult dog before you adopted it, you can improve your relationship with it by spending some training hours just getting to know the dog. This means making zero demands on the dog and letting it settle down first in its new home. After it is used to you and the house, you can start with other training lessons already.
8. Training Your Adult Dog Can Help Improve Home Security
Although some people adopt dogs for companionship, it doesn’t do any harm to treat your dog as additional security too. After all, your dog perceives your family as its pack, and you are the alpha dog (the leader of the pack). And dogs are by nature territorial, so therefore people often rely on their dogs as additional security for the home. Be sure to train your dog to differentiate between members of the family and strangers. The dog will be observing your behavior around these different humans, so be sure to introduce everyone to your dog, when needed.
9. Training Your Adult Dog Can Help It Relate Better With Other Pets
If you have other pets at home, it may be important to train your dog to get used to their presence. This applies whether your other pets are all dogs, or some are of other species, like cats or parrots. The idea here is to let each pet socialize with the other pets freely without anyone attacking the others. If your adult dog seems a bit cautious at the start, that’s normal. Part of the dog’s psychology is to be part of a pack, so you must help your dog familiarize with other pets the family. To get a good idea of how to train your adult dog, you can watch this video:
10. Training Your Adult Dog May Help You Feel Calmer
If you have some health issues such as anxiety, having an adult dog to train may be therapeutic. For one thing, your anxiety may mean that you avoid the presence of other people to avoid getting an anxiety attack. Your anxiety may also mean you take some medication to manage your condition. You may find that the mere presence of your adult dog allows your blood pressure to get normal, so interacting with your adult dog through training is truly helpful. It’s also reassuring to have an adult dog to watch over the house when you are resting. This is especially true for people who are managing some health issues and are living alone.
11. Training Your Adult Dog Can Help You Exercise More Often
Your adult dog can actually help you get more exercise if you begin training it. Sometimes it can be boring to work out on your own so having a dog to train can allow you to exert more physical effort. You’ll be able to walk around more, which helps your blood circulation improve. You get to breathe in more fresh air if you train your older dog in your garden or at a nearby park. You can even integrate some strength training and stretching exercises into your routine so that both you and your dog will feel invigorated afterwards. Afterward, you and your dog can chill out at the same time watching TV or reading a good book. This kind of routine will really be good for you and your dog in the long run.
12. Training Your Adult Dog May Make You More Conscious of Sound Eating Practices
Although your dog might be eating different food from you, you may have to scrutinize more closely the type of food both of you are eating. If your adult dog has some health issues, like arthritis, it may be important to monitor the kind of dog food that you are giving to it. You definitely want to avoid food that would make its symptoms worse. At the same time, you may also have some health worries and want to pay more attention to the quality of the food you are eating daily. The good news is that you and your dog will be able to eat right, with just a little more training in choosing the right food to eat.
TRAINING RESCUED DOGS
13. Training a Rescued Dog Helps to Alleviate its Fear
Anyone who has ever fostered a rescued dog knows that it may have many bad habits learned under previous abusive owners. The most basic attitude to take is to help the dog to overcome its fears and start trusting the foster parent. For example, a dog who has been beaten in the past for digging holes in the backyard may associate the presence of its owner as a precursor of a beating. So, it develops a self-defense strategy of being hostile to anyone who reminds it of the beatings. This leaves you with a hard task of earning the dog’s trust first.
14. Training a Rescued Dog Allows You to Re-socialize the Animal
It is vital to improve the socialization behavior of any fostered dog so that it can relate well with new owners and any other pets in its new home. Through the right training, you’re exposing your rescued dog to the presence of other humans and other dogs so it’ll learn that these people and pets are safe to be with.
It may take a long time though for the fostered dog to lower its guard enough to even stay in the same room as other humans and pets. So, at this stage you must be very patient and kind, so that the fostered dog will trust those in the room.
15. Training a Rescued Dog Permits You to Identify the Triggers of its Behavior
Sometimes, you may encounter a rescued dog that has been severely abused in the past. Although all rescued dogs may have some difficulty adjusting to their present circumstances, an abused dog may have more than one triggers.
For instance, a dog that has been used in illegal dog fighting may be aggressive to other dogs. The same dog could also be hostile to humans because it used to be beaten by the previous dog owner. With a double whammy of triggers, it can be very difficult to train a dog who had experience abuse.
However, you will know the triggers after observing the dog through a couple of sessions. This may help you to think through the ways by which you can gain the dog’s trust. Knowing the triggers means you can avoid these while you are socializing the dog.
Dogs are practically man’s best friend because they are loyal, kind, and smart. Being able to train your dog is a gift to you, even if you don’t recognize that yet as such. You have the option of adopting puppies, adult dogs or rescued dogs, when you decide on dog adoption. You probably already know that having a dog is a big responsibility. The good news is that you can benefit in many ways when you adopt and start training dogs. Be kind and generous to your dog during training and they will reward you with their undying love forever.