Regular training is a key part of any happy and healthy dog’s life. In order to keep your dogs performing to the best of their abilities, they have to practice both new and old tricks for life. Athletes don’t simply stop practicing once they’ve reached a certain level, and neither should your dog.
Of course, our dogs aren’t born knowing how we’d like them to behave. While most pet owners begin training early during puppyhood, not many of them continue to make training a vital part of their dog’s life well into adulthood.
Unfortunately, dogs, much like humans, are susceptible to forgetting. Without regular reinforcement, they can forget even the most basic of commands and slip back into old, unwanted, and destructive habits. For a dog, training is like learning a new language. If you learned a new language in high school, but then never practiced, you would forget how to speak that language eventually.
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of benefits to training your dog each and every day. Regular training sessions can be a great way to brush up on old skills, reinforce wanted behaviors, curb boredom, or teach some new, fun tricks.
Below we’ve broken down the benefits of regular obedience training and provided you with some easy ways that you can incorporate that training into your everyday life.
Training can be a great way to socialize your dog and teach them basic skills
Like young children, every dog has to be taught how to behave in your home and interact with others. Obedience training is a great way to set boundaries and to teach your dog what behaviors are and are not acceptable within the home. Training sessions can be used to teach helpful commands such as stay, heel, down, sit, or place. These commands can then be used to curb unwanted behaviors such as jumping, begging, barking, or chewing.
Training is also a great way to provide your dog with positive experiences surrounding new people, places, things, and other pets so that both you and your dog are comfortable in and outside of the home. Finally, both individual and group classes can be a great way to make new friends and connections and are a great educational opportunity for you.
Obedience training keeps your dog safe
Well trained dogs are less likely to run off or get hit by a car. Commands such as wait and recall can be used to avoid worst case scenarios.
Regular obedience training improves you and your dog’s relationship
It’s a simple fact that our dogs love spending time with us, and training sessions provide a great way to do just that. During your sessions, you’ll work on strengthening your bond by building a relationship full of mutual trust and respect. Regular training can also be a great way to discover how your dogs learn and how to best communicate with them.
Obedience training helps keep your dog physically and mentally fit
A dog’s brain, just like our own, needs to flex its muscles to stay in shape. Obedience training is a great way to get your dog thinking and provides the cognitive stimulation that will keep him or her mentally strong. Additionally, training sessions can be utilized to keep your dog in great physical condition.
It curbs destructive behaviors and keeps your dog mentally stimulated
Oftentimes, destructive behaviors such as chewing or digging are a result of boredom. With no other way to burn off excess energy, your dog just might turn to chewing up your favorite shoe or your expensive computer to get some much needed stimulation.
Some people assume exercise alone is all it takes to curb destructive behavior, but without training, that could build stamina and actually lead to more destructive energy. Training sessions can be used to curb boredom and provide both physical and mental stimulation for your dog.
I’m so busy… How can I incorporate regular obedience training into our routine?
Make it a part of your everyday routine
Getting into new habits can be difficult, but just like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast is important each and every day, so is spending some time working on obedience training. When you’re first starting out, sit down at the beginning of the week and pencil time in on your calendar when you’re free. You can also try setting an alarm or reminders on your phone.
Training doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment
Outside of weekly lessons or private sessions with a trainer, shoot for a maximum of thirty minutes of obedience training a day. Your training sessions can be completed in short five to ten minute bursts. Keep in mind that walks, play sessions, and meal times can also be utilized as training sessions as well.
Check out our #PawAndOrderChallenge on Facebook and Twitter
Paw & Order regularly shares videos on Facebook and Twitter that showcase some of our awesome dogs and their tricks as they continue to learn and grow throughout their lives. Whenever you come across one of our challenges, break out your camera and see if you can record your dog completing the trick as well. This can be a great opportunity to learn something new or to simply show off your four legged best friend. Remember that in order to raise a star pup, regular practice must be a part of their everyday life.