Many doxie owners will tell you they are fluent in a very special language: Doxienese. The truth be told, the doxies also speak pretty good Humanese. How did this happen? Training. It does not matter whether years of experience were shared with the new doxie in their life or if the owner participated in a formal training program with their precious charge. That training formed the basis for the language that makes for a happy and peaceful home. Here at DRBC, we all have our methods, but we train, train, train to keep the lines of communication open with our four-legged kids. And yes, they train, train, train us too!
Why Train Your Dog?
Obedience training is one of the most important aspects of raising a dog. In fact, a well-trained dog is by far a happier dog! Why? Because a trained dog requires fewer restrictions. The more reliable the dog, the more freedom he is given.
For example, many stores and businesses that normally won't allow dogs on their premises will make an exception for a puppy or a dog that will heel nicely by his owner's side or will do a sit-stay or down-stay without hesitation.
And when company arrives in your home, there's no need to banish a well-behaved dog to another room for fear that he will be a royal nuisance. Moreover, because a well-mannered, obedience-trained dog is both appreciated and welcome, he receives more attention and interaction from family members, visitors, and passers-by, than does the ill-mannered dog.
You as Your Dog's Leader
Training serves to strengthen the bond between a dog and its owner. It builds communication, understanding, and mutual respect, and subtly but effectively demonstrates to your dog that you're the leader of the pack (commonly referred to as the "alpha"). And if your dog doesn't respect you as his leader, you may both be in big trouble, particularly if he's a bit rowdy or dominant by nature.
Training May Save Your Dog's Life
Obedience training also gives the dog owner the voice control necessary to prevent numerous potential tragedies. For instance, should a dog slips out of his collar in the middle of a congested traffic intersection, he can be safely heeled across the street, then given a sit command to facilitate putting his collar back on. Or should someone accidentally leave the front door open, and you spot your dog leaving, he can be safely called back to you using the recall command.
Not only will obedience training help your dog to become more responsive, but because it enables you to have immediate control over your dog's behavior, in an emergency situation obedience training may save your dog's life. In fact, it can ultimately save the lives of many dogs, because far fewer dogs would end up in animal shelters if their owners would simply take the time to train them.
And for those dogs who do need homes, a trained dog is far easier to adopt out to a new home than an untrained one.
Statistics also show that puppies that receive early socialization, obedience, and temperament training (aggression prevention training) are far less likely to end up being destroyed by the time they turn three years of age than those that do not receive this early training.
The Consequences of an Untrained Dog
Without proper training, many dogs are likely to misbehave. And when owners allow their dogs to misbehave, everyone suffers. The owner, because he or she lives with a dog; the dog, because everyone's down on him for misbehaving; the dog's owner's neighbors, because living next to a difficult dog is no one's idea of fun; and ultimately every dog owner, because each incidence where a dog creates a nuisance increases anti-dog sentiment, and contributes to the likelihood that tough legal restrictions will be placed on all dogs.
Obedience Training Benefits Everyone
A well-behaved, obedience-trained dog is a pleasure to own because he can go virtually anywhere without being a risk or nuisance to others. And don't we all want a dog who exhibits appropriate behavior in a crowd, good manners when we have guests in our home, is reliable around children, and who doesn't threaten other dogs or passers-by?
The bottom line is that dog obedience training truly benefits everyone.
Copyright 1995 - 1999, Robin Kovary