The Importance of Dog Training
Safety is a basic reason for having a trained dog. If one's dog will "come" in response to the command "come" or "stay" there will be a lot less chance of him running out the door and into the street. He probably won't be jumping over the fence and running through the neighborhood or even being lost for days. A well-trained dog will be much less likely to be injured from fights with other dogs or neighbors who are fed up with his bad behavior. Children, guests and neighbors will also be safer with a dog that obeys.
A trained dog is more fun. If the owner has confident that his dog will obey and follow instructions the dog can be trusted in a wider variety of situations. This means more exiting adventures as well as relaxing enjoyment at home.
A well-trained dog actually enjoys more freedom because he is obedient. When he immediately and consistently responds to commands, he will be allowed off his leash more frequently-of course where this is legal or allowed. An unleashed dog is able to get more exercise, which is a contributing factor to being healthy. Dogs that don't get enough exercise often exhibit more behavior problems. Even simple behavior problems such as house soiling are a major reason dogs end up being given to another family or even brought to a shelter. Some would even go so far as to say it is abuse for a dog owner to not make the commitment to properly train his animal. Happy and healthy dogs reward their masters with even greater loyalty and affection.
It's truly a win-win situation!
Proper training can go a long way toward controlling aggressive behavior, destroying property inside and out, jumping on guests, getting into the trash, jumping on furniture, too much barking, chewing up things, digging and other behavior problems.
Training in basic good manners builds a foundation for higher levels of instruction. Basic commands include, but are not limited to: SIT-dog goes into sit position. DOWN-dog lies down on the ground. OFF-get off if they jump up on either a person or something such as a couch or chair. STAY-dog does not break position until given the signal or command. HEEL-dog walks beside you on your left in correct heeling position. From the basic obedience training, dogs can go on to learn dog tricks, enter competitions for obedience, dog shows and clubs, hunting, field trials and organizations.
All dogs are working animals from the Rat Terrier (hunter) to the Saint Bernard (rescuer). Because of domestication and a more urban environment most dogs do not have the opportunity to work. A walk around the neighborhood or even a run in the yard after eight hours of being home alone is not enough mental or physical stimulation. Dogs, because they are social animals-in the wild they run in packs, would prefer to exercise with their handler rather than by himself in your yard. Ideally, dogs need walking, running, swimming and retrieving.
In addition to physical exercise dogs needs mental exercise. The working instinct demands for him to use his brain. If not encouraged to use their brain for good behavior, they will use it for bad or strange behavior. Obedience not only teaches self-control but also allows him to think and respond using his mind. Teaching anything from simple obedience commands to tricks gives him an outlet and allows thought processes to over-ride negative behavior. Training can help a dog be content, less fearful and self-confident.
A combination of physical and mental exercise will keep a dog happy and well adjusted. A pure bred Labrador is going to require more physical exercise than a Maltese but both need their play time and exercise. Dogs love to play and obedience training can certainly be taught or reinforced even while playing ball or Frisbee.