We all know that it’s easier to live with a trained dog. A dog who listens well and who doesn’t make you chase them down the street when someone leaves the door open is a pleasure. A dog who walks nicely without dislocating your shoulder and who doesn’t make you apologize to friends and strangers for their unruly behaviour, a pure joy. Did you know that there are also intrinsic benefits to training that you may not realize. Here are just a few:
Building a Bond: Training helps create and nurture a bond with your dog. By building an understanding of how to read you, your dog will gain trust in you. They will learn to look to you for cues and information rather than making impulsive decisions on their own. You will learn to read your dog as well. You’ll figure out what they like and what they don’t. You’ll become aware of how they think and learn and will be able to use that to your advantage to mold their behaviour.
Mental Stimulation: Training is mentally satisfying for your dog. Getting to use their brains and think through scenarios is very rewarding. Mental stimulation is very important psychologically for your dog. If dogs are not getting enough stimulation, they’ll go looking for things to occupy themselves. Typically, these are nuisance behaviours like chewing, digging or barking.
What Fun!: Training is FUN! You likely got your dog to enjoy them. Through training, you can teach them all sorts of tricks and use fun games to help you bond and share time together. Once they’ve got a few tricks, you can impress your friends and family. Tricks are a great way to break the ice. If your dog is meeting a child or someone who isn’t comfortable around dogs, a few tricks can be a great way to show them how non-threatening your dog is.
Be Content: Dogs who are well-trained are happy with their place in the world. They know the rules and boundaries in their lives and are usually content to operate within them. Being trained allows them to navigate their daily lives safely and this brings peace and confidence, to both dog and human.
Training has mutual benefit for you and your dog. Spend short durations training multiple times a day and you’ll see the many benefits unfold. Whatever your reasons for doing it, have fun training your dog!