training you dogThere are many aspects that go into taking care of a pet. Of course, you must provide food, water, and shelter, but there are less concrete needs that are still important. This includes things like basic medical care, companionship, and behavioral training.

Training your dog provides some very important benefits that can help you and your pet get the most from one another. That’s why the team at Harris Parkway Veterinary Hospital wants to share some of our best tips when it comes to training your dog.

Benefits of Training Your Dog

Training your dog can be a time consuming endeavor that requires a lot of effort and patience. It’s extremely important, however, that pet owners make it a priority. There are many good reasons that make training your dog a worthwhile endeavor:

  • Behavioral issues are the number one reason that pets are surrendered. A well-behaved dog is a keeper!
  • A well-trained dog is less likely to dart out the door and is less likely to chew on or ingest potentially hazardous household items. He also has safer walking habits.
  • A well-behaved dog is a good citizen, making visits to the vet and other trips more enjoyable for everyone.
  • Dogs love to please us and are happiest when they know what’s expected of them.

Time spent training your dog is also a great time to bond. Part of why we love our canine companions so much is the unconditional love they provide. Why not give some in return?

Secrets From the Pet Experts

When it comes to training your dog, there are all sorts of resources out there, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming. As your partners in pet care, we want to share some of our most valuable tips for success:

Start early. While you can always teach an old dog new tricks, there is a very critical time frame in which puppies are most receptive to training and socialization. Between three to fourteen weeks of age is a critical socialization period that you don’t want to miss!

Don’t go at it alone. Even if this isn’t your first rodeo, it can be extremely beneficial to work with a professional dog trainer. A professional can not only provide tips and help troubleshoot problem areas, but training outside the home can improve socialization and help expose your pet to new people and animals. Training classes can also help with mental stimulation and exercise needs.

It’s a family affair. A dog is part of the family and everyone in the home needs to be on board with training. Discuss with all family members what you expect of your pet and how you plan to accomplish this so that your pooch isn’t getting mixed signals. This also helps ensure that your pet minds everyone in the home equally.

Consistency is key. Dogs learn best when goals and boundaries are clear. Be kind but firm and have a clear vision regarding how you want your dog to behave.

You catch more flies with honey. Dogs tend to respond best to positive reinforcement training, a technique in which desirable behaviors are rewarded. This mindset will get you further with most pets than punishing them when things don’t go well.

Training your dog is a long-term task, but the benefits are well worth the time and effort. Don’t forget that our team is always here to help, so please don’t hesitate to call. We’d love nothing more than to help you raise a well-behaved dog!