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Why should you get your dog trained?

Dog training Tags: classes, communication, dog, Leicester, pets, relationship, training, WitsEnd

Dog training imageMore and more people are choosing to attend dog training classes, but why are they doing so and what can you hope to achieve from dog training classes for both you and your dog?

Domination: what dog training is NOT about

Many people believe that treating dogs like members of the family is the wrong approach, and that we need to dominate our dogs in order to make sure that they don’t dominate us and become ‘top dog’. They feel that the reason to train our dogs is to achieve this.

But do we really need to dominate our pet? Do we need to dominate anything that lives with us? In our opinion the answer is no, much to the relief of many fellow dog owners! After all, why invite something to live with you, and then try to control its every move? Most people get a dog because they want something to look after, companionship, shared experiences and mutual affection. Excessive discipline directly affects our pets’ general happiness.

Relationship and communication: what dog training IS about

We believe that trying to artificially dominate our pet creates a relationship that is based on confrontation and denial, rather than creating a loving and rewarding bond with the dog. For anyone who loves dogs, this is a pretty soul destroying mission and will leave the dog feeling insecure, anxious, frustrated, depressed, angry, miserable and stressed. What we need to do instead is to live in harmony with our pets and have a strong relationship, built on good communication, trust and love. We need to be able to live happily with our pets. We have to understand our pet’s needs and try to fulfil them. We believe that this is what training is all about, and that training is vital to achieve this.

Of course, relationships have to be worked at on an ongoing basis, and the relationships we have with our pets are no different. Understanding an animal’s feelings and emotions is no different to accepting that the many people we live and share our lives with sometimes have difficulties and need our help and guidance. We can teach them with clear, consistent signals how we want them to behave in differing situations. By sticking to simple ground rules, we can educate our pets to do what is expected of them quickly and without confusion.

The practical reasons for training your dog

By getting your dog trained, you want to bring out their full potential, encourage them to learn and think, and teach them to behave not just in the training room or at home, but in situations such as walking down the street, walking in the park, at the vets, and at your friends and family’s houses.

Teaching the dog to come when called is one of the main reasons most people attend training classes. Dogs need to learn to respond to a call in a variety of situations, for example to come in from the garden, at the end of a walk, when they’re going to other dogs or people they find interesting, or after escaping out of the front door. But it could also save their life – for example if they run off towards a busy road.

Dog training also teaches a dog not to pull on their lead, but instead to walk calmly at our side on a loose lead. This makes a walk a far more pleasant experience for both owner and dog. It teaches them to sit, stand and lie down, stay, leave when told to do so and not to jump up.

Critically, dog training also teaches a dog to be confident and social, to make friends with other dogs, and teaches them how to behave around other dogs and other people, not just the owners and not just in the owners home.

Finally, attending dog training classes is about more than just training your dog. The classes should offer you support, up-to-date information on healthcare, guidance on diet, tips on house-training and how to get them to take worming tablets.

Dog training is the answer to many dog owners’ biggest needs. It helps people to improve the quality of life for their dog and to get the very best out of them, to get their dog to listen to them whilst having the two way relationship they want with their pet. In short, dog training should mean both happy owner AND happy dog.

For more information about dog training, click to read our article Dog Training: What you need to know, visit our website or call us on 0116 244 2455.

Dr Shahad Mohammed
Veterinary Physiotherapist
National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists
Dr Shahad Mohammed