Why Is Obedience Training Important For Dogs?


Why Complain? Just Train!

Many people wonder why training is so popular and don’t really understand why it is crucial to have a trained dog. Often I hear, “Years ago, my dogs never had to be on a leash, and they never left the yard.” Certainly years ago, times were different. Leash laws were not as abundant, and terms like breed restrictions, or animal liability were unheard of, and dogs may have actually stayed in their yards, I think in part because the population of dogs was not so enormous, and they were not overbred as they are now. Genetics has had a lot to do with the canine behaviors we see in training, along with much of the fault lies on the owner’s shoulders.

We yearn for the dog that comes to us eagerly every time we call them. Oh, so wonderful were the days when we never had to crate the dog in the house, as he or she was always on their best behavior and would never consider chewing up the furniture or using the oriental rug as a potty place. It would be really nice if the dog didn’t jump all over our company, and even better if he or she opted to share couch space with our guests!

Training your dog serves a number of purposes. It establishes your leadership over your dog. It teaches respect for both you and your dog and fosters a most valuable relationship between you both. It also assists with communication between you.  There are limited places you can take your dog to, but in dog training, you both are always welcomed with open arms!

Training can also save your dog’s life! There are many circumstances for which an obedience-trained dog can avoid a tragic accident. Whether your dog slips his or her collar or should bolt across the street chasing the neighbor’s cat, you want a solid recall. In other words, you want your dog to come immediately to you, should you call them to come. Can you guarantee that your dog will do this without fail? If not, you need to sign up for dog training classes.

What your dog does inside your house as far as his or her behavior is concerned, maybe completely different when they are outside. The distractions they encounter while outside their familiar environment may be too much causing them to get crazy and not listen to you.  A structured environment such as a training class will offer you suggestions and helpful tips to keep your cool, along with promoting a better-behaved animal. Whether you are seeking a dog that is well behaved or you wish to pursue other training avenues, like agility, Rally-O, or AKC sanctioned obedience competitions, starting with the foundation of basic training is most important!    

Without training, a dog is most likely to be ill-behaved and when an owner allows this, the dog’s bad behavior only continues to grow. This may cause hard feelings for friends and neighbors who no longer want to deal with the owner’s inability to manage the dog’s bad behavior. Complaints may lead to an Animal Control Officer showing up at your doorstep, or even worse, the owner has to make the decision to re-home the dog. Statistically speaking, most dogs are turned into rescue at a young age and most have had no formal obedience training whatsoever. All of this could have easily been avoided had the owner sought a professional training facility to better help them.                                                                                                                                                   

In today’s day and age, owning a dog can prove to be a difficult task. Not only are they a huge responsibility to care for, but they unwillingly can hurt our living situations. Some states now ban specific dogs in their communities. To think this could not happen in your community is a foolish assumption. This breed banning is spreading across the country.  How can we prevent such an occurrence? Train your dog; prove that you have a well-behaved animal, giving you the right to own such a wonderful pet! Don’t complain, just train!

By Lynn Whittaker
Bow Wow U

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