Of all the reasons people give up a dog to a shelter, behavior problems are high on the list.
By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Cynologist
Of all the reasons people give up a dog to a shelter, behavior is high on the list. ‘He barks all night,’ ‘she won’t come when I call her,’ or ‘he chases cars up and down the street’ are just a few of the issues dog owners struggle with. Many of these owners need to stop and think, ‘maybe it isn’t a dog problem, perhaps it is an owner problem.’ It’s time to think about dog training, not dog obedience.
Providing structure and commands from the very beginning is the best recommendation
Professional dog training will train you as well as your puppy. They can suggest, even before you bring your new puppy home, a variety of training tips and techniques to improve your relationship with your dog. Those first days at home are significant. Everyone needs to be on the same page as far as consistency in house rules is concerned. If Mom doesn’t want the puppy on the sofa but, after she leaves, the kids to curl up with the dog on that same sofa–there will be problems. It may seem inconvenient at first, but setting boundaries, enforcing rules, and putting words into actions will set your puppy up for success. Giving your family education in ‘puppy’; it will pay off in the future.
If you have an older dog whose behavior is less than desirable, all is not lost.
What about an older dog that comes into your life with less than stellar behavior? Even a dog who has been owned by someone else can have exemplary manners with dog training. This is where dog training takes a different approach to old habits. If you are considering adopting a rescue or older dog, get all the information possible before he or she comes to live with you. Then find a dog trainer who will go to your home to perform a canine evaluation to learn what your goals and needs are and discover your dog’s personality and temperament. From that, they can develop the perfect training plan, using methods to help your dog be successful at achieving your goals. From the very beginning, a professional dog trainer can have you bonding with your new canine companion and have you on your way to helping him bond with you.
Everyone enjoys a well-behaved dog. Before bringing any puppy or dog home, talk with several dog trainers and find the right one for you. Dog training is much more than teaching commands. It will get your family, and your dog started on a long and happy life.