Dogs are living in a man’s world. We have so many expectations about how our dogs should behave and conform to our world, but how many of us take the time to understand the world they came from, how they perceive the world, what is normal to them and how they learn?
Getting involved in a good training program is one way you can bridge some of those gaps. Our pups would like for us to be trained too. They can, and usually will, learn how we would like them to act in “our world,” but they’d really appreciate a little investment on our part to understand them first. It’s important for you to be involved in your dog’s training for many reasons.
Teaching a dog first requires knowledge of how they learn. As much as we would like for dogs to understand English, or any other language for that matter, they don’t. It’s sometimes hard to let go of the idea that dogs are people. If we can come to terms with that, it will ultimately make our relationships and bonds with our dogs stronger. It’s hard to accept that all our talking sounds like a bunch of noise to them and, often times, may even be annoying or stressful. The good news is that once we understand our dogs, we can establish a means for smooth and effective communication that both parties can appreciate.
A good trainer can guide you through creating and establishing a unique language for you and your dog that fits both of your needs. That may sound elaborate and complicated, however it’s really not – especially with the right person to guide you through it. It’s one of the main reasons that it’s so important for you to be involved in your dog’s training. Each owner and their dog has a unique set of needs so the dog, a credible dog trainer and the owner should be involved in almost every aspect of the training process and and the development of their unique language.
Another reason that it’s important for us, the owners, to be involved in our dogs’ training, has to do specifically with how dogs learn and what they perceive. Dogs pick up on very subtle things related to our body position, tone of voice and more. A trainer can help point out inconsistencies or variations that we may not even notice. Also, in a training program that involves primarily just a dog trainer and the dog, such as a board-and-train, the dog may not be exposed to the specific nuances of how the owner speaks and moves when signaling the dog.
The final reason to be involved in your dog’s training is the social benefit. Participating in our dogs’ learning and training can not only be fun and rewarding, but can significantly improve our social bond with our pups if it is done correctly. Not only will you be the one they see delivering the treats and pats on the back, instead of just a dog trainer, you will be spending time together, practicing and overcoming obstacles together.
While having someone else train your dog may appear to save you time and seem easier in the immediate future, in the long run it’s less likely to be as effective or as valuable to you and your relationship with your dog. At Bed and Biscuit Austin, we offer people-centered dog training. It’s a great way to reap all the benefits of effectively training your dog while also strengthening your social bond with them.
Image Source: www.flickr.com/photos/dmertl/2214126176