Dog training is a lifestyle. It doesn’t stop with the lessons.
More people own dogs now, than ever before in our history. Breeders are abundant and shelters are overflowing. Whatever your reasons, you now have a furry little friend who has, undoubtedly, worked their way into your heart.
It’s really hard not to get pulled into the monotony of life sometimes, I think that everyone can understand and agree on that. Routine is important for humans and when we get on a roll, we can really put our heads down and trudge through it all. As a dog trainer, it’s so common to hear from clients, “My dog is so obnoxious when I come home!” Or, “I just want him to stop jumping and going crazy.” When you take a step back and think about it, it’s completely understandable that your dog wants to jump up and down, spin in circles, bark and go wild when you come home. In all likelihood, most dogs have been sitting by themselves for the last 8 hours while you work. The thing is, dogs don’t understand anything about bills and mortgages.
Dogs are social animals and eight to ten hours alone is a long time for them to go without interaction or work. There is a big emphasis on work here. Every breed that we have today was bred for a purpose. Some of them were bred for looks or just to be lap dogs; however, most of them, even a lot of the small ones, were bred for a job! It is in their genetic code to move and learn, to use their bodies and their minds.
Too many owners have it in their minds that bringing your dog to dog training, or spending a few thousand dollars to have them shipped off for a few weeks of a board and train program, will have them coming back and being perfect. That they will be a robot. Quiet and cute, playful when we want to play tug but snuggly when we want to be lazy at the end of a hard day. This just isn’t reality and it can be a hard one to face. Dog training can benefit you and your dog immensely but possibly not in the way that most people think.
Lessons can help to teach you how to teach your dog. Some lessons, depending on the plan, can even help you get a jumpstart on training by the trainer working directly with your dog. This will help solidify their basic commands and obedience. This is a great thing! It will help the bond between you and your dog grow. But it doesn’t end there. It requires more work and guess what? The beautiful part is, the more work you’re willing to put into it, the better that bond between the two of you will become.
It takes a lot of effort to control your dog’s environment. It takes a lot of effort to monitor your dogs health and nutrition. It takes a lot of effort to get your dog the proper amount of mental and physical stimulation that most breeds require. Doing all of these things properly can completely change your lifestyle and your dogs behavior! It’s a large responsibility, but it’s something that IS do-able!
The outcome from putting in this effort is more than worth it though. We owe it to our four legged friends to give them the best life that we can. Even if it’s two fifteen minute walks per day and ten to 15 minutes of obedience training, I challenge you to give your dog the lifestyle that they deserve. Change your lifestyle.