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Whether you’ve just got a dog or you’ve had one for a while, I’m sure as a dog owner, whichever situation you may be in, you know that if your dog isn’t trained it can be a real problem. Besides the obvious issues such as misbehaviour and disobedience, training your dog can benefit you in so many other ways:
First of all and most importantly, the bond between you and your dog will be stronger than ever. Communication skills will increase between you and your little one (or big one!) and a level of respect is gained for you. Not only this but your dog will listen and also love you more if treats are involved!
Training your dog doesn’t always have to be a chore; it can be fun for you and the whole family. You don’t just have to train them to be obedient you can also teach them quirky party tricks. This is also a great way to impress your friends and family.
Training your dog can be beneficial to their mental health (that’s right you heard us correctly!). We know it might sound bizarre but dogs can suffer from the same mental health issues that us humans do. For a dog that isn’t treated right it is quite common for a dog to have depression or anxiety. As well as this you wouldn’t believe how many normal dogs have OCD, doing certain routines, doing things over and over again, it’s very common. Training your dog correctly can ultimately give or restore confidence to shy and fearful dogs as it provides enrichment, which stimulates your dog’s brain, making them feel calmer and more relaxed.
Training your dog can increase safety for both you and the people around you. It can be difficult to process but an untrained dog can be dangerous, it only takes a second for it to snap, either at you, family friends and passers by. Once you’ve built a relationship with your dog, it will most likely do anything it can to protect you, if untrained they can be very dangerous. Think about this fact – a trained dog is six times less likely to be surrendered or returned to a shelter.
You can use treats and food for your advantage when training your dog. When there is a treat involved your dog will probably do just about anything it can to get it, you’ll be surprised how much more likely your dog will obey you. Some people are skeptical about using treats when training, thinking it seems a bit too much like a bribery, this couldn’t be further than the truth. It is one of the best tools to utilise for training, it is a reward for good behaviour, not a bribe.
Here at Postman Pooch, as dog lovers, we feel that it is so much more valuable to reward the good rather than punish the bad when it comes to training. You can’t expect your dog to listen and understand straight away, especially if they’re only young or if it is a new trick, be patient! Whenever you reward your dog with a treat for doing something good this is your way of saying “good dog”, it makes them more likely to do that action again. Whenever you punish them for doing something bad, it makes them more scared to do the action again, more nervous and actually hinders your dog while training. When you shout at a dog it doesn’t fix anything, yelling at your furry friend only works as a temporary solution.
Using treats is a great way to get started training but you can’t let your dog become too reliant on treats, at the end of the day the end goal is for your dog to become obedient without the use of treats. It’s fine to give treats at the beginning whenever they do something good but it’s also important to slow the treat giving gradually so that you end up only using verbal commands.
You should try to keep dog treats small, rewards don’t have to consist of a handful of treats, using the smallest of treats has the exact same effect, a great treat for this effect would be our Strawberry & Apple Training Bites, specifically designed for training dogs! Tasty too!