Training a dog is an essential part of integrating them into your family home and your life together. Dogs and humans may not speak the same language, but they still understand us enough through verbal cues, body language, and general situational context. Using these tools, along with consistent reinforcement, dogs can learn the expected behavior and boundaries. There are 5 basic commands to teach your dog that we recommend everyone starts with.
By training together, you can also learn how to read your dog. From body language to audible cues and their general demeanor, you and your dog can communicate more ably to work through everyday life as well as those occasional tough situations. Many dogs also benefit from the mental stimulation provided by training. It gives them something to focus on while also deepening the communicative relationship between dog and owner. Factors like these are essential for a dog to live a well-rounded life.
Further, without understanding the expected way to behave in a public setting, your pup may get into some sticky situations — ones that could potentially even be dangerous to you or them. A well-trained dog can understand what is expected of it in these situations, or at very least be more likely to respond to your urgent commands.
We’ll dive in further to what types of training and commands are most important below while revealing just why training can be so beneficial to both the dog and the owner.
Lifesaving Commands May Come In Handy One Day
We all know the basic commands, sit, stay, and drop it. These are useful in the everyday setting, but they can actually be there to help your dog avoid serious injury in a dire situation.
If your dog somehow escapes its enclosure or ends up near a road off-leash, for example, there’s a strong chance it could approach traffic. Most dogs don’t fully comprehend how dangerous a moving vehicle is, but a well-trained dog will listen when you order them to “sit, stay.”
What if you’re on a casual stroll with your pup and they become intrigued by a fallen beehive? Then, the simple command “drop it,” or “leave it” could save you a hefty vet bill.
Verbal commands can get very intricate, going well beyond these basics. At their core, though, are simple ideas that your dog can understand in sequence, so they all build off one another. You can hire a professional trainer to assist you and your dog with learning the types of more-complex commands you are unfamiliar with. Yet, always remember that even simple commands that may seem unimportant could potentially save their life one day.
Don’t Let Untamed Barking Get YOU In Trouble
Many people don’t realize that you can teach a dog to either speak or stay quiet through positive reinforcement training with certain verbal commands.
While barking is a natural way for your dog to express excitement and many other emotions, excessive barking can get you in trouble. Also, with people wearing face masks due to covid, it can make some dogs feel uncomfortable and cause them to bark. This is especially true if you are a renter or own property within an HOA. Aside from that, there are even cases of noise complaints registered with local police departments over excessive barking. By teaching your dog when barking is ok versus when it should be avoided, you can avoid a negative spotlight being shined on your pup within your community.
Trained Pups Have More Freedom
One of the greatest perks of training your dog is the freedom they gain with every command they learn.
When a pup gains your trust after successfully responding to a verbal command, it is easier for dog parents to allow more freedoms, such as during dog park visits and on off-leash walking trails.
Dogs love their freedom, but should not be allowed to roam without taking important safety precautions first. A pup who is trained to return to its owner on command, and who is socialized enough to understand public etiquette around other animals and humans may be allowed (in designated spots) to enjoy the chance to release their energy and run around freely, a luxury not all dogs have.
Untrained dogs are more likely to experience canine anxiety or the type of willfulness that can get them — and potentially you — in trouble. These dogs won’t be able to fully enjoy running around a park or making doggy friends. In this way, furthering a dog’s training can directly improve its quality of life.
Canine Reporting For Duty
A well-trained pup can even take on a serious role as a guard dog, service animal, farmhand, and more!
In the professional world, dogs can be used to sniff out anything from drugs, bombs, and bodies to infestations like bed bugs. Their heightened sense of smell gives them an advantage over humans, being able to identify smells for time-sensitive situations like a missing person or bomb threat.
Even with non-working dogs, dog training is a useful tool that can make your day-to-day life easier as a pet parent. Your dog can even help you around the land, herding other animals, guarding the property, or retrieving something you’re looking for — whatever commands are most-practical and that provide your dog with a rewarding sense of duty. On the more practical side, training your dog to walk with you at night can mean both of you keeping an eye on each other’s backs to reduce the risk of being accosted or inadvertently walking towards a hazard.
Even if none of these scenarios applies to your lifestyle, these are great examples of how you can integrate any commands that you find useful and have another helping hand around the house!
A Well Trained Dog Is Less Likely To Experience Canine Anxiety
Sadly, dogs can experience anxiety much like humans do, but not usually over the same things. The world around a dog seems so much bigger than it would to a human. With less understanding of the contraptions, apparatuses, and other stimuli around them, they could so easily skip curiosity and run straight to fear and anxiety.
By continuing to train your pup, you are socializing them with new environments and experiences. This training not only gives them behavioral tools to adjust to these situations but also provides the confidence boost many dogs need to deal with something like canine anxiety.
Canine anxiety has proven to be reversible by gaining your dog’s trust and slowly exposing them to what they are afraid of in a safe, non-threatening way. This method is called counterconditioning. The goal is to have them eventually realize that whatever is making them anxious is actually harmless.
Dog Training At Greenlin Pet Resorts
Training your dog does NOT have to be something you take on alone. There are so many challenges, like learning extensive techniques, understanding how to keep their attention for a long period of time, and more. If you have recently adopted an older dog we can also help with their training and any other needs they might have as well.
At Greenlin Pet Resorts, we have a specialized team of qualified, certified trainers who are always excited to take on another furry friend. We aim to help them develop life-long skills that can make their lives more comfortable and yours less stressful.
If you’re interested in our dog training services, you can schedule a FREE initial meeting with one of our trainers to meet your pup and put together a custom plan for training. Check us out online to schedule an appointment at one of our 5 Greenlin Pet resort locations.