Dog owning and the importance of training
THE DOG DECISION
There are many dog breeds you may contemplate buying but all have one thing in common: in order to get the best out of them they need training.
Firstly, before any specific type is decided upon its first worth considering your own lifestyle and how much time you can realistically give to training a dog because each breed is different. Let’s look at a couple of examples: If you have a family with children and your time is often limited, then perhaps you would be better-off considering the more passive breeds, such as Labradors or Retrievers, which are great all rounder’s, fairly gentle and easy to train. But, on the other-hand, if you have a specific interest, such as dog racing, and are thinking of buying a Whippet or Greyhound, then you need to be prepared for many hours of training if you are going to enjoy any degree of success.
Whichever breed you consider best for you, your pleasure will be greatly enhanced if the dog is trained properly and, with the right approach, any dog CAN be trained properly.
MAKE THEM KNOW WHO’S IN CHARGE
Dogs are like children, unless you teach them right from wrong they will think that anything goes. Next time you are out shopping, look around at the parents with kids and observe the ones who are misbehaving and compare them with ones who do as they are told, then ask yourself: if I had to look after any of these kids which ones would I prefer? It really is a no brainer and the same analogy can be applied to dogs.
There is another facet that is applicable to canines and that is their natural ‘pack’ instinct. Because nature designed them to live and hunt in a pack, every dog will try to be the pack leader and in the wild the strongest will succeed and keep the others under control. This instinct is still ‘hard wired’ into the brain of domestic pet dogs and unless you show them that you are in charge they will try to dominate you. This is a battle you MUST win if you want to train your dog properly.
BEING CRUEL TO BE KIND
Making the statement being cruel to be kind certainly doesn’t mean mistreating your dog, what it does mean is instilling suitable discipline that in some cases may save it’s life. Take the scenario of a dog jumping from a car door when you arrive back home. Now a dog likes to sniff different smells and is very easily distracted if something takes their fancy, and if a particular smell or other distraction comes from across the street then it will just follow its nose and could potentially be hit by a passing vehicle. However, if your dog is trained to obey your commands, then you can just shout stop and it will do just that. On the other hand, if you have not trained your dog properly then it will just carry on running and could be run-over. If this happened you would be devastated and if you had children who also witnessed an event like this just think how they would feel?
Dogs are great creatures and bring much happiness and joy to their owners; they also provide soothing therapy when you are feeling low. And guess what? They get just as much pleasure from you as you do from them. Talk to a dog nicely, or give it a treat for behaving well, and see how it wags its tail, the classic sign that a dog is enjoying itself. And that enjoyment and fun is enhanced greatly if the dog is obedient because it knows the rules by which you expect it to play and will stick to those rules because it continuously wants to please!
FINDING OUT MORE
It cannot be emphasised too strongly that training a dog is important for both you and them and the earlier you start the better.