Do your New Year’s resolutions include training for your dog? They should!
Whether you received a new puppy for the holidays or you’ve had your K9 companion(s) for a while, training your dog is always a great idea! Whether you’re training the basics to a brand-new puppy or reinforcing the basics, there are a number of reasons why including training in your day-to-day relationship with your dog pays off in huge dividends! Your dog will:
- Listen and obey;
- Respect and follow your lead; and
- Trust you because of the strong bond you’ve developed.
While training your dog can, in theory, be done by just about anyone, there’s really no substitute for employing the services of a well-experienced trainer who’s worked with dogs of all sizes, temperaments and issues.
An expert trainer will also have a more objective viewpoint of your beloved Fido and what they really need to work on. You know that “oh-isn’t-that-cute” behavior you find so adorable (including jumping, excessive licking, whining, barking and more)? A professional trainer will properly identify and replace it with a more social behavior so your friends will actually visit you again!
Keep reading and learn the 4 reasons you should hire a positive, force-free dog trainer before the end of this blog post. (Don’t know of an experienced dog trainer in the Seattle area? Reach out to us!)
1. Provide a Positive Outlet for Extra Energy
Most of us spent extra time at home over the holidays. But now that regular schedules for school and work are back in effect, your dog may start to “act out” with so much alone time again. Training will give your dog a positive outlet for any pent-up energy and also offer them mental stimulation and challenges that will help tire them out.
2. Consistency is Key
Like most New Year’s Resolutions, we’re all highly motivated at the beginning, but it’s not long before our intentions (no matter how good they are), fade away and we’re back to our old routines. But dogs do best with consistency. So by hiring a regular dog trainer, your canine will learn faster with more consistency in their new-found behaviors.
3. DIY Can Leave a Lot to Desire
Consider, if it was really so easy to train your K9 (by just reading a book, watching a TV show or DVD), there would be a lot fewer dogs with “issues.” Many of these same canines end up homeless and unwanted in shelters because of undesired behaviors and bad habits.
Inadequate, ineffective, inconsistent or even indecisive training can actually reinforce bad behaviors and create intimidating habits. It’s critical to provide the right training from the beginning as your dog learns to recognize and understand what you really want from him. Just like with children, they need to learn and master the “basics” so they can go on to build upon that sturdy foundation with new, more advanced skills. If your dog is not clear on what you expect, both they and you will become frustrated, anxious and worse. In other words, you may do more harm than good by taking the DIY approach.
4. Expertise is Priceless
Investing the time and money into a professional dog trainer is priceless and will pay off throughout the life of your dog. A competent expert will confidently lead both you and your dog “through the ropes” with ease and always be available for any questions (and you will have questions!).
So take the time to find the right trainer for you and for your dog. Make sure to find a trainer who:
- Can provide references and show how long they have been training dogs;
- Only uses positive, force-free training methods;
- Is comfortable with your breed of dog (especially with the large to giant breeds); and
- You feel comfortable and at ease around (your dog will feel it if you’re not); make sure your dog is comfortable around them as well.
Looking to train your puppy the basics?
Do you need help with unwanted K9 behaviors?
Or do you need to teach an old dog some new tricks?
Brea, of Cosmic Home & Pet, can help you with all your training needs!
Cosmic Home & Pet has been providing Seattle dog walking (and training), cat sitting and overnight in-home pet sitters since 1998. We also love and care for other critters including rabbits, ferrets, fish, birds, chickens and more.
- Don’t Hire a Dog Trainer to Train Your Dog Unless You Read This
- 5 Signs You Need to Hire a Dog Trainer
- National Train Your Dog Month
- Why Should I Train My Dog?