Why Train Your Dog

by Greg Hollen

There are as many reasons to train your dog as there are owners. As dog owners, it is our responsibility to educate our animals in how to be good members of society. Well behaved dogs are rarely seen in shelters and rescues even though good natured dogs are.

Behavior is the number one reason people give up their pets and every dog owner trains their dog whether they want to or not. Unintentional training starts from the moment you bring your dog home and generally consists of the dog learning what it can get away with. From jumping on people to aggression, people unknowingly encourage out of control mannerisms in their pets. Jumping up is one of the most common complaints and can be attributed to excited greetings, rough play or lack of exercise. When you are dressed in your nicest clothes, the dog can decide it is play time and start the inappropriate jumping behavior, leading to muddy or torn clothes.

Owners have a tendency toward behavior management rather than correcting misbehavior. "Oh, just go put the dog away" or “He’ll settle down when he is older” is a common phrase for a lot of dog owners. Puppies do have a lot of energy and will settle down some as they mature and if we don’t teach them the right things then they will still do the wrong things. While Marley and Me were a great book and movie, I don’t want to own a Marley. Ever.

As population increases and dogs becoming an increasing part of our families, good behavior is put at a premium. Even a good natured dog can be rude with forcing themselves on to someone. Training with a competent trainer can be an enjoyable bonding experience for dog and owner alike. Learning how to communicate with this wonderful creature really teaches many things about ourselves.

To find a professional trainer in your area, go The International Association of Canine Professionals website (www.canineprofessionals.com) and search your area. Only about 25% of dogs ever see any kind of training. Let’s change that and educate ourselves and our beloved dogs and encourage others to do the same.