Why Training Your Dog is So Important

Training your dog is essential to being a responsible pet owner. Not only does it improve their interactions with the many humans and animals they’ll meet, it increases their own health and happiness. Not all methods are created equal, though; truly effective training requires a deep understanding of how dogs think and behave.

Wouldn’t my dog be happier without so many rules to follow?

Dogs absolutely thrive on structure, routine, and clear expectations. Just like human children, they need a few rules in order to understand which behaviours are (or aren’t) desirable! They only want to please you, but if they have never learned what you want and expect of them, they will be left to guess, or do what they think is best.

If your dog feels like no one in the household is leading, they will attempt to assume that role themselves. This can actually be stressful for your pup because they will likely feel compelled to challenge any displays of authority from you or anyone else. They may also begin losing sleep and feeling like they are unable to relax because they have to be on guard all the time.

Your dog wants a clear leader to follow, and that leader should be you. Fortunately, proper training does an excellent job of removing their stress and uncertainty.

How does training keep my dog healthy and safe?

Not only does their quality of life improve when they aren’t anxious all the time, dogs can also be saved from dangerous situations if they have a few important commands under their belt.

As you may already have noticed, dogs can slip out of their collar or leash at the most inopportune moments. If your dog happens to get away from you, good training can literally be a lifesaver. If your dog knows the command for ‘heel’ or ‘stay,’ it could prevent them from darting out in front of a moving vehicle or into the path of some other danger. Coming back to you when called can stop them from chasing an animal into the woods, going after another dog, or generally going where they shouldn’t go.

Training your dog to drop something they’ve picked up can spare them from choking or poisoning. Dogs explore the world with their noses and their mouths! Keeping careful watch and asking your dog to ‘drop it,’ or to avoid something all together can help you avoid a costly vet visit.


Is training the same as socialization?

Your dog needs to be able to go out into the world and safely socialize with other dogs and humans. Whether it’s going to the dog park or just going to the vet, a dog who can follow commands will feel calmer and safer than one who is reacting to everything with uncertainty. Even if you never leave your home, your dog needs to feel secure whenever others come to visit. Training can help your dog understand what is expected of them when other people or animals are presesnt, making the experience better for everyone involved.

What if they keep doing a thing I don’t want them to do?

Many times, dogs who are rehomed or sent to animal shelters have been turned in because of behaviours that could have been addressed with proper training. Proper training means: understanding what’s causing the issue, understanding the differences between how dogs and humans communicate and think, and taking the environment into consideration. Making a dog frightened, (even by yelling at them,) will gradually erode the trust between you, and won’t ever address the actual behaviour at hand.

Also, consider that dogs with basic training stand a better chance of being rehomed permanently. If something should happen to the owner, a dog stands a much better chance of finding a new home if they’ve been trained.

There, now you already know more about how dogs think and behave! For more information on which type of training is best for your dog, take a look at our services page.