Why do we train our dogs?

I have met so many people over the years that have told me they do not see the value in training their dog yet in the next breath they will complain about their dogs’ behaviour. As with all dog trainers and enthusiasts, it leaves us shaking our heads and feeling extremely frustrated.

I will often put it like this to clients and people I meet. Imagine having a child that is around 10yrs old that you have not taught to speak, read or comprehend the world that it lives in. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to live with this child? It would be a full-time job in caring and managing this kid that you pretty much completely ignored? This child would be very emotionally unstable and would be a nightmare to be around.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is exactly what people do when they do not train and socialize their dog. A very large majority of behavioural problems stems from this very reason.

There was a study done a number of years ago here in Australia that indicated that less than 1% of dogs ever got to any type of dog obedience school or professional dog trainer. I know this to be true as when I’m out about with my dogs as it’s usually me managing other peoples dogs to ensure mine are safe. In other words not training a dog is keeping it stupid. And stupid is, as stupid does. (Forrest Gump)

And that’s the point right there without training our dogs they become a liability as I know all too well. Not to mention how many dog fights have I broken up and how many times have I seen people chasing their dogs so that they can go home, continue their walk or training session.

As I always explain to my clients we must first teach the ABC’s and 123’s to the dog so we can set up a pathway of communication that we build upon and therefore make the dog reliable and not a liability.

By creating that ability to communicate with our dogs gives and us the chance to stop the dog from behaviours that are not conducive to dog’s life and it also empowers us to really enjoy the relationship with them.

People regularly comment on how wonderful my dogs are and this is true, yet if hadn’t taken the time out to create learning for my dog they wouldn’t be what they are today. They wouldn’t be able to help me rehabilitate other dogs and demonstrate what is possible.

Yes being a dog trainer makes it a lot easier for myself and my dogs yet the fact remains, I took the time and applied self-discipline to learn for them and the added bonus of creating a wonderful relationship with them.