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Do I need to train my dog?

24 Nov 2022

As working dog handlers, we often take the need to train our dogs for granted. The same cannot be said about many pet owners, though. We have found too many owners are of the belief that they themselves do not need to train their own dog, and can instead rely on occasional sessions with a professional trainer. At best, this is suboptimal and at worst can lead to a deeply unhappy and dysfunctional dog. We believe that all owners have a responsibility to train their dogs, and cannot overemphasise the importance of doing so.

Given their intelligence, dogs have a very high capacity to learn and understand new behaviours which they can then perform on command. They also have a near constant need for stimulation, both intellectually and physically. Bored dogs often become unhappy, and a lack of structure in their life can lead to behaviours that are incompatible with home life such as excessive barking, unwanted chewing, and a tendency towards destructiveness. Training provides an answer to many of these problems. While it is not a one-time magic fix, proper training is often the best first step in preventing or managing behavioural issues, and one we highly recommend.

Training is also one of the best ways to facilitate bonding between a dog and an owner. Given that dogs learn associatively, positive sessions where they are rewarded for displaying desired behaviours with pleasurable experiences such as petting, treats, and toys teaches them to expect good things from you. Conversely, training will help you learn to trust your dog, which is particularly important if they are a working animal.

Knowing where to start training your dog can seem intimidating given the amount of available information, but this does not need to be the case. We are very experienced trainers, and are always happy to advise on this matter. For more information, please email [email protected].

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