Only an estimated 4% of dogs have been through any sort of training, which is a shame, because it has lots of benefits that go beyond the ability to sit and stay. Let’s look at a few.
1. Strengthening that bond.
Dog training isn’t just about your dog learning to understand commands; it’s also about you learning how to understand your dog so that you’re both communicating better. Move those pesky obstacles to communication out of the way, and you’ve got a stronger bond between you and your pet. Being able to communicate clearly avoids frustration and means you’ll both be on the same page when it comes to most situations.
Proper socialization is a huge plus for dogs. Well, for any animal, really (see #7). Going to training classes with them helps them get used to seeing other dogs often, as well as showing them how to behave around other pups in order for everything to go smoothly.
It goes without saying, maybe, but having a dog that will listen and come to you when you call makes for a safer life for that dog. Without a doubt. But beyond that, training does a great job at dealing with problem behaviors like nipping or jumping that might put your pup in a situation where they might be presumed to be dangerous, even if they’re just playing.
4. It’s fun and mentally stimulating.
And we don’t just mean for your dog. This is a bonding experience for you and your pet, but it’s also a fun puzzle to figure out. And your dog loves pleasing you; imagine what a rush it’ll be for them when they understand what you want and get positive reinforcement with your love (and a treat)!
5. A better time at the vet.
This goes along with socialization and safety, but truly it’s its own special section, because the vet can be incredibly stressful for some pets. Better behavior at the vet allows the vet more time and energy to fully examine your pet safely, which means better preventative care, which in turn means a longer, happier life!
6. Providing an example.
Ever want to be an ambassador? Like we were talking about at the beginning, there’s a lot of folks who don’t understand the benefits of training. Having a dog that’s been through training makes you a representative of how beneficial it can be! You’re like the ambassador of Trainingville. That means you can be responsible for more pet owners making the choice to communicate better with their dogs.
7. Bonus! Socialization for you!
Your dog isn’t the only one who gets to socialize when they go through training. You do too.
You’ll get to meet other dog owners at the same point you are: wanting a more effective way to communicate with their dog. You’ll be able to see the myriad issues that people face when training their dogs, and see how your dog is both unique and similar to these other pups.
And because your dog will be better behaved, you’ll have more of a chance to socialize with other pet owners when you’re out and about at the dog park, let’s say, because you won’t be worrying about whether your dog will be able to behave themselves. And that’s good for you; one of the benefits of pet ownership is an increase in socialization, which keeps your brain active.
And hey, that’s a kind of training we all could use.