Why train your dog? It is a question that people will ask but it really is common sense to train your dog. It is what you do when you get a new dog or puppy that you train them the way you want them to behave.
They are a lot of ways to train your dog and a lot of little tricks that you can train them to do. Whether it is to see how clever your dog is, to show your friends how clever they are, for a show or simple because you want a dog that can fetch a beer from the cooler on a hot day!
The simple training that everyone covers when training their dog is ‘How to Train Your Dog to Sit’, ‘How to Train Your Dog to Stay’, ‘How to Potty Train your Dog’ and ‘How to Crate Train Your Dog’ are just a few subjects that most places (here included) will cover.
How to Train your dog is a large subject, as you can see from the paragraphs above they are just a few simple teaching s you can have for your dog but what about grooming (yes they will need to be trained to allow you to groom them), recall, Leaving guests alone, not to chew and so on. The list can be endless.
These are just a few examples for a domesticated dog, what about working dogs? Hunting Dogs? Rescue Dogs? Sniffer Dogs? Dogs can work and be used in a wide range of roles so their training will need to be more in depth and diverse.
We will just look at domesticated dogs for now as they will be the majority of training posts we will cover here.
When you are training your dog you are not just getting them to behave the way you want them to and go potty where you want them to but you are establishing a role within this relationship. You are going to BE THE PACK LEADER.
A pack leader is the head of the pack, the leader, the ‘Alpha Male’. Being a pack leader is usually brought out by controlled dominance, that silent stare, assertive commands and all round confidence.
Dogs are social creatures, they want to belong to a pack, however, if the role of pack leader is not established, especially early in a dogs life, i.e. puppy age, then they will take up the role of the pack leader.
When your dog is the pack leader, guess what happens to you and your commands, they become IGNORED! He thinks he is number 1 now and he doesn’t need to listen to you. He can do what he wants as he thinks he is above you, he has taken that role.
Imagine if I never set the role early with Diesel? I would now have a 3 foot tall, 10 stone dog doing what ever he wanted and not listening to anything I say, it wouldn’t be an enjoyable and happy experience to have Diesel as a pet, would it?
They will demand and expect food and dog treats when they want them and they will beg for your food when you are sitting eating your meals.
You have to establish the role early.
As mentioned above it is carried out by controlled dominance and assertive commands. When training your dog or just in everyday life with your dog, make them work. If YOU decide to give him a treat make him work for it. Get the dog treat out but before you give him it make them sit, give you their paw or lie down, some sort of command you dog has to obey to receive the their treat.
Don’t walk around your dog (Although I do recommend you train them not to get up if you do stand over them, walking with a hot cup of coffee and tripping on your dog isn’t going to end well!)
Make your dog get up so you can walk where YOU want to walk. If they are lying in the middle of the floor, give them a little nudge with your feet and say ‘MOVE’ (again word association, they will know what move means soon enough). Command the walkways as you’re walking through.
Command the doorways and narrow spaces, he follows you through or at least waits for you to command him to go through.
Learn more about being a pack leader and many more techniques to aid your dogs training here.
Dogs want you to be their pack leader. They want someone to look up to who will look after them. Packs looks after each other but a pack leader will take care of his pack first and himself second and that is what a dog wants out of you. The unselfish act of caring for them.
Remember to them you are their whole world and it is up to you to step up and make them feel that way.
With this role in hand, you will have a happy, well trained, well behaved dog, who will shower you with unconditional love and be with you in the good and the bad times.
What more can you ask for?