How much did it cost you to buy your dog?
How much have your spent on the bedding, collars, harness and a coat? Toys?
How much have you spent on feeding your dog, treats, bones and special food?
How much have you spent on insurance, health care, veterinary care?
Have you added it all up? Even just a rough estimate….. Is the number suprising?
How much have you spent on new shoes, new lawn, chewed up furniture, scratched doors, dog attacks?
I am surprised at how much people spend on their pets yet forget some basic needs of the animal – dog training! Puppies are taken from their mothers at a few months of age and have no basic understanding of training. You are responsible for teaching the puppy basic manners such as sit, stay, come, heel, wait. You are also responsible for socialisation of the puppy, showing it how to interact with other animals and what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. The problem is that sometimes puppies have a mind of their own or they don’t listen or they don’t want to or all of the above!! Without proper guidance at this young age, your puppy can turn into a problem dog. A problem dog = unhappy household.
A dog that misbehaves is not happy. If it bites, it’s not happy. If it escapes, it’s not happy. If is growls, it’s not happy. If it runs the house, it’s not happy.
The keys to successful dog training
1. Persistence – keep going. I know it can be very frustrating when it doesn’t seem to work or your dog have a memory of a goldfish. Just keep at it
2. Patience – your dog is learning something new and it takes time. Dogs read body language so be calm, keep your voice steady and don’t get angry..
3. Consistency – we can all get tired and can’t be bothered but if you have a rule, don’t bend it or break it otherwise your dog will know that the rules are just there to be played with.
4. Practice – keep at it. I know it can be boring but include puppy obedience training into everyday life. Making your dog sit for it’s dinner, sit before crossing the road, wait while you go through the doorway.
5. Everyone in the family must be involved and doing the same thing. There is nothing more destructive than the softie in the family who lets the dog get away with everything! Your dog isn’t stupid. It knows who to give the big doe eyes to…
6. Knowledge - THE MOST IMPORTANT KEY – if you don’t know, how can you teach.
Dog Obedience courses can take the form of a group class, an individual trainer, a book or DVD. I recommend all 3 as socialisation is important for the development of any dog. Individual dog training will teach you how to teach your dog. I strongly recommend a dog training manual to use instead of or in combination with dog training. You will have something to refer to between classes if you have any problems or just forget your training techniques. The benefits of a downloadable dog training manual is that you can access it any time, you have it instantly and best of all, you can print as many copies as you like! You have one at home, one in the car and one for each of the family members to refer to. Access to videos is important to watch what exactly is being done. This is why I recommend the dog training manual.
Think of what the cost of owning your dog was earlier. Training isn’t an expense. It is an investment in your dog and your family to ensure a healthy, happy, well behaved dog which leads to a happy family!