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A Paws for Pets -- Why obedience training is necessary

A Paws for Pets -- Why obedience training is necessary

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Most people don't want a dog that is uncontrollable or has annoying behaviors such as eating or destroying things or being afraid of everything. We may not have had a dog like that, but we all know someone who has definitely had a dog who lacks manners, is rebellious, lives in fear and/or is simply destructive. It doesn’t matter the sex, breed, size or age, without some form of consistency in training all dogs could become that one dog that only the owner loves.

Believe it, all dog owners have provided some form of obedience training to their pet. Getting a dog to come to their name is the first step in obedience training. The more obedience training your dog receives, the better behaviors they will continue to have. Obedience training gives a dog perspective on who is going to be in charge, it teaches them to socialize with people and other animals, and reinforces good behaviors. With only a few exceptions, it is never too early or too late to begin more extensive obedience training. However, you must first overcome the first obstacle.

Your knowledge and confidence supports how your dog listens to you. Be consistent and clear with your commands while making sure you are letting your dog know what you want from them. They won’t heel, sit, stay, come or lay down if they don’t know what that means. You must also speak in a firm but happy voice. Since most dogs want to please, they need to realize that the change in your tone means they should listen and pay attention. If they think your voice is too playful then they believe it's play time. And third, it’s in a dog's genetics that they are either the leader (Alpha), be second in command (Beta), or become the follower (Omega) in their pack. Your home is their pack. It is important for your dog to know they are not the one who is in charge in your home. Most dogs think they are the leader but with obedience training and a few simple modifications in your own behavior, it will decrease some if not all of those annoying behaviors.

Obedience training teaches you and your dog to interact with each other. You bond together and become a team. Most dogs want to please and are eager to go places with you. It will become a fun learning opportunity, even if they have to follow commands. It teaches them patience, to listen, and to tolerate other animals. It teaches them to be confident, they no longer feel threatened by their environment or the need to be aggressive towards other people or animals. Some dogs are used for protection, which is very different from being aggressive. Using a dog for protection requires advanced obedience training.

You can do this on your own or there are several places you can find that provide obedience classes/training. Currently I am offering obedience classes at York Adopt A Pet. These classes will help put some management into your home. I don’t just teach the classes, I get to know you and your dog so I can help you modify their bad behaviors and give you the tools necessary to train your dog. Attending obedience classes without reinforcing the training will not benefit you or your dog and they will start the bad behaviors again. Your dog not only relies on you for food, water and shelter but they need you to provide structure.

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