Puppies are such adorable bundles of fur, it’s hard to imagine that there could ever have be a need for training classes.
After all, training classes are for “bad” or “problem” dogs, not yours. Besides, you can handle teaching a dog a few tricks, right? Wrong—these are common myths, but false ones.
The reality is, training classes can be beneficial for any dog, at any age or skill level. Here are five reasons to sign up your dog right now:
- Pre-empt or break bad habits
One of the most basic ways a training class can help you and your dog is by pre-empting bad habits—like chewing on your shoes—by establishing positive habits early. Puppies can benefit from training classes and learn simple commands like “sit” as young as seven to eight weeks old.
But even if bad habits do develop in older dogs, a training class can help correct behaviors, too.
- Establish yourself as the leader
For you to have a successful long-term relationship with your dog, it’s important to establish yourself as the pack leader. Dogs’ social dynamics function within a hierarchy, with an alpha dog at the top as their leader. If no leader is established, your dog will take it upon itself to become that leader.
To establish your authority over the dog, it’s important that you claim that leadership role first. A training course can help you learn the confidence and command to do it well.
- Open a line of communication
The nuances of communicating with a dog are not always intuitive. You may think you’re communicating clearly, while in fact your dog can’t understand it at all.
But taking a training course together can help you and your dog learn to communicate to each other better, serving as a strong foundation for a long happy relationship.
- Teach manners and socialization
A training class does much more for a dog than teach it to sit. It also exposes them to public spaces where they interact with other people and pets—which gives dogs valuable lessons about how to get along with others, of both the human and canine varieties.
These lessons about appropriate behavior come in handy any time you want to take your pup with you to a parade, park, or other public space, as well as any time you invite someone to your home!
- Stimulation for your dog
Dogs are meant to be active, and many were even bred to hone instincts for specific jobs, such as sheep-herding. And yet most modern dogs spend their time napping and sitting around the house.
For some dogs, this can cause boredom that leads to acting out in ways that are not acceptable, like tearing up the couch pillows while you’re at work. It’s not that their “bad,” they’re just looking for an outlet for their hard-wired instincts.
Along with regular exercise, training classes (and practice time at home with you) can offer your dog the mental stimulation it needs and stave off those negative behaviors. If your dog has already mastered the basics, consider an advanced course.
A Simple Way to Enrich Your Pet Relationship
Training classes for your dog can be beneficial at any age or skill level—and they can be good for you, too! From basic commands to strengthening your line of communication, there’s plenty of reasons to get your dog in a training class.
Find a training class for your dog by checking at your local pet shop, adoption center, or searching online.