January is National Dog Training Month, and we couldn’t be more excited here at Billings Animal Family Hospital! We believe that obedience training is about so much more than having a dog who will follow commands (although, that is important too).
When done properly, dog training sets the foundation for a great relationship with your pet and helps to create a happy, well-adjusted dog.
The Benefits of Dog Training
Integrating your dog into your human pack is an important part of dog ownership. Dog training is a crucial piece of that puzzle. The benefits of humane training are far-reaching, and include:
- Safety – A dog who is easily managed will come when called and, under an owner’s supervision, is safer around other people. A well-trained dog poses less of a danger to themselves than dogs that display uncontrollable behavior.
- Bonding – There’s a deep sense of joy and satisfaction that comes from having a well-mannered dog. A responsive, respectful pet is more enjoyable to spend time with, which can further deepen the natural human-animal bond.
- Socialization – Dogs who respond to their owner’s cues and react appropriately in a wide variety of situations are more likely to join in with the family’s daily activities. Properly socialized dogs are a benefit to their families, neighborhoods, and communities.
- Fun – Taking your dog to obedience classes, or practicing at home, can be a lot of fun! Learning about dog behavior is a fascinating way to engage with your pup on a deeper level, and can help to bring about the wonderful relationship we all want to share with our pets.
Dog Training Tips
- Start ’em young – Dog training and socialization should ideally begin when a dog is still a puppy. That doesn’t mean that older dogs can’t learn new tricks, so to speak. Dogs of any age can and do benefit from obedience training.
- Use positive reinforcement – Positive reinforcement training focuses on what you WANT your dog to do, rather than what you DON’T want them to do. This mode of training has been shown to be faster and more effective than traditional, punishment-based methods.
- Know when to stop – Some dogs take readily to training, while others are more easily stressed, overwhelmed, or just plain stubborn. Overwhelming your dog with too much information at one time can be detrimental to future training. Instead, be sure to stop when they appear to have had enough, and try again later.
- Don’t give up – Dog training takes time, patience, and plenty of consistency, but the rewards are well worth the hard work.
We are proud to offer dog training and puppy socialization services at Billings Animal Family Hospital. Give us a call to find out how you and your pet can learn and grow under the guidance of trained professionals, right here in the comfort of our clinic!