Train Your Dog Month: Why Training Is ImportantLarry Kay
By Robbi Hess ~ Managing Editor Pet Calendar, Crimeless Cat Executive Story Editor, Chief Cat Herder
As we head into the first full week of Train Your Dog Month, we want to get back to some basics of why training is important for your dog. Sure, you can have a tiny breed dog and think, “she’s small” and “she doesn’t need much training because if she does something naughty, I’ll just move her out of harm’s way.” (I admit, that is what I did with my poodle, Henrietta.)
Talking with positive reinforcement dog trainers and with Larry Kay, leader of the Positively Woof pack and author of Training The Best Dog Ever, I understand now that dogs like training sessions. Because our dogs want to please us, they love it when they perform a trick or even comply with a simple command like, “sit,” “stay,” or “heel” it makes them happy when we praise them or give them a treat!
Train Your Dog Month: Why Training Is Important
Here are some reasons to consider training your dog — whether you train him yourself or attend a dog or puppy training class — you with both benefit!
When you train your dog, your communication skills and knowledge of one another will deepen. People have said, “my dog understands me” or “my dog knows so many words/phrases.” The reasons for this is because that person has trained his dog and they share that communication bond.
It does strengthen the bond you have with your dog. You will work closely together and that time spent together deepens your connection. The time you spend with your dog is a gift to her and she will look forward to it and to pleasing you.
It’s just plain fun. Not all training sessions have to be “how-tos.” You could have a training session where you “teach” your dog to fetch. It’s great fun for him and he’s also learning while doing.
Puppies and dogs need to have enrichment in their lives. A training session is a form of canine enrichment and it also gives your dog a “job.”
If your dog has been trained — house trained or trained in basic commands — he will be less likely to be surrendered to returned to a shelter. Larry Kay has spent a lot of time working with shelter dogs to make them movie stars! This training has made the dogs much more adoptable and they are returned less often.
If your dog is trained, you will be less likely to come home to chewed up shoes and furniture.
Training your dog a command such as an emergency recall or a simple “come” could potentially save his life and keep him from running into a dangerous situation.