National Train Your Dog Month
Got a new puppy in the house? Is a pet starting to forget their manners? No matter what age a pet is, it is important that throughout their lifetime that they get taught proper basic commands. Not only does it make it easier when company comes over, but in dire circumstances it can also save their lives. This year, the 7th annual National Train Your Dog Month takes place in January and is promoted by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (ADPT).
There are a lot of different kinds of train techniques, but the positive reinforcement is the primary training method used on pets today. Positive reinforcement can be used with either a clicker or treats, and teaches the pet which behaviors are acceptable. There are some critics who believe that using treats as positive reinforcement is bribery, not training. But over time, treats can be replaced with praise for a trick done correctly. Positive reinforcement makes learning fun for the pet and during the time of training, gives a chance for the pet and pet parent to build a stronger relationship as they work towards a common goal. Not only is positive reinforcement more effective, but it is a more ethical way of training.
The biggest benefit of having a trained dog is that a pet does what is needed from them when instructed. Trained pets have good manners, which means that they may be more welcome at certain places than pets who aren’t. A pet who is taught proper training techniques may not exhibit behaviors destructive behaviors such as digging or chewing. Certain commands such as “stay,” and “come,” will also keep your pet safe and can even save their life. Mental stimulation is also something a pet receives from training, so on a day when they don’t get as much exercise, a half hour or so of training will keep their mind active. Instead of trying to train a pet themselves, some pet parents choose to instead take them to obedience class. This option offers a way to socialize a pet while also being able to mingle with other pet owners. Once a pet is able to understand basic commands, they can go on to understand advanced commands and tricks and even move on to agility classes.
Having a trained dog in a home makes life easier for everyone and provides both pets and owners with an opportunity to show off what they have achieved together. The impact of training is crucial because training is the single most important factor that keeps a pet in a home. Pets who are surrendered to a shelter have a much higher rate of being returned if the new owners are not interested in putting in the time and effort it takes to train a pet. But the pros of training far outweigh the cons. What is better than strengthening a relationship with a pet? So if you haven’t done so, sign up for a training class today!