Dog Training Explained
When it comes to pets, dogs are truly in a league of their own. Unlike the aloof cat or placid goldfish, having a pet dog encourages its owner to interact with it, play with it, talk to it, run around with it, and so on. No other pets form as strong a bond with its owner as dogs do. Inherently sociable animals, dogs love being the center of attention, meeting new people and seeing new places. The problem many dog owners face, however, is how to contain or control their dog’s natural excitement so they don’t jump on guests, chase cars or chew everything in the house ragged.
Dog training is obviously the answer – but what exactly is it? Most new dog owners are not familiar with the ins and outs of dog obedience training, and are unsure of how exactly to tame little Fido so it does not pee everywhere and chew on the curtains. The good news is that dog training classes are fairly common in most cities, and are affordable enough for most pet owners. Even better news is that with a little research, you yourself can train your dog using the same techniques and tactics used by the experts. Don’t expect to become a dog whisperer after reading just one book, however – dog training is a skill many expert trainers hone over years working with hundreds of dogs. But any god owner can certainly pick up many useful training skills from reading just one book or attending a few classes on dog training.
The first thing you should know about dog training are the different techniques used. Currently there are two primary training methods used by most experts: collar or leash training, and reward training.
Collar or leash dog training is not as popular since it involves physically restraining the animal. It is, none the less, an effective training technique for certain breeds of dog. Collar or leash training is done by controlling the dog’s reactions to your various commands/instructions through the use of a leash around the animal’s neck. The owner exert force on the leash with varying degrees of severity to maintain control of the dog as the training progresses. Leash training is a good way to show the dog that you are firmly in charge of the situation and the leader of the relationship. Dogs have a genetic tendency to follow the leader of the pack, and will actually listen to you and follow your instructions more carefully if it thinks you are the leader. While it may seem harsh, collar or leash training is an effective training method where other methods fail.
Another popular dog training technique, the reward method, is favored by many dog owners when they first try to teach their new puppy simple commands. A kinder, gentler and, some might argue, more humane dog training technique, the reward method uses positive reinforcement to teach dogs. Every time your dog shows some progress in picking up a new command or behavioral trait, you would encourage it by showering it with praise, love, and little treats. The dog will soon repeat doing the things that make its master happy, and also keep doing the same thing in the hope of receiving another treat.
Dog training is not just for the benefit of the animal. It also helps the owner gain a deeper understanding of his or her pet, and fosters a stronger bond between the two.
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