Dog are man’s best friends. They give unconditional love and are among the most loyal animals we share our lives with. Whether you are talking about the small fluffy Shih Tzu or the Great Dane, there are hundreds of breeds out there to choose from. Some are bred to be lap dogs, while others, like the hound group, think blood hounds for example, are built for hunting. Dogs range in size and temperaments from the tiniest of Chihuahuas, to the Irish Wolfhounds (being the tallest breed overall). Before rescuing or purchasing a dog from a reputable breeder do your research on breeds to find the one that best suites your life style first.
Training, especially in the early stages, is vital. A dog without training and enrichment becomes very bored and destructive. They may seem cute as that awkward bounding 8 week old puppy at first, but that cute puppy will quickly grow into a 80 lb tank that can knock you flat in one jump. Some breeds need specialized care and training to keep their minds busy. They need adequate exercise every day combined with enough enrichment to keep a happy, stable dog in a home.
Socialization is the first step. A dog without proper dog and human socialization suffers from trust issues, can be prone to aggression, and overall isn’t very happy. The second step is to make sure that you have a good potty training regimen going.
The methods I employ are positive reinforcement based. This means, if the dog does something correct, they get rewarded at the correct time for doing the behavior. This method is best because the dog is never forced to do something he doesn’t want to do. It isn’t cruel. Nothing is being taken from the dog. They love to please naturally and to a dog there isn’t anything better than a tasty treat,a ball, or praise from their favorite human. It also speeds up the learning curve if they have proper motivation.
There are a plethora of training tools and methods out there in relation to dog training. At its core, training is a process of establishing a base of communication with our canine companions. They don’t understand English. We have to teach them what words mean first. Wouldn’t you rather have a positive relationship with your dog, instead of being frustrated?
Whether you get the basic cues from a group class, or a private trainer, a professional is a great place to start with for a foundation for training. You need the basics-such as sit, down, stay, come, leave-it, drop it, loose leash walking, as well as others. This will give you a life time base to build upon in the future.