Is there such a thing as the best dog training? Every dog lover wants the best of everything for their buddy… the best food, the best veterinary care, and the best possible dog training. Nevertheless, wanting the best and actually knowing how to go about giving it to them are two very different things. If your busy lifestyle keeps you on the go most of the time, then you should consider what effect this could have on your dog’s behavior.
Okay, so now you are wondering how in the world your work schedule could possibly relate to providing the best dog training. The answer is simple. Whether you realize it or not, your dog is trained every single time that you interact with him or her. They are also trained by a lack of interaction. Your reactions to the things that they do speak louder than any rolled up newspaper applied to their backside ever will.
Owning a dog is a huge responsibility, yet so few people actually consider this fact before getting one. Caught up in the emotions that compel us to seek companionship with a dog, we can be blinded to their needs. The fact is that dogs are living, breathing, and feeling creatures. Just like all animals, they have mental needs that must be met as well as their physical needs. The best dog training practices take into account how meeting these needs can prevent bad behavior.
A dog’s psychological needs stem from their ancestors: the wild dog. They are wired by a genetic code that, largely, directs their behavior. This is called instinct. It is an inborn drive that is directed by things like survival and reproduction. Simply stated, it is the reason that dogs do the things that they do.
Another part of best dog training practice is the dog’s behavior. When something is unbalanced in your dog’s life, behavioral problems may arise. There is a need that is not being met. Perhaps your dog is alone all day, or stays outside most of the time when you are home. Dogs are not meant to be solitary animals. They live in packs. You are a part of that pack (hopefully the head of it), but what do you do if you’re not home? People have to work, right?
Ah, a million dollar question! The best dog training practices for behavioral problems depend on what the bad behavior is. It is beyond the scope of this article to tell you how to correct them, but there are a few basic principles that apply to all training.
Here are a Few suggestions
- You must understand the instinct behind the bad behavior. By knowing which mental need is being unfulfilled, you can begin to take steps towards correcting it. A gook book on dog psychology can help.
- You must learn to communicate with your dog in his own language. This can be a tough one because we all talk to our dogs. Unfortunately, they can’t understand everything we say. Therefore, the best dog training practice is to communicate at their level. There are a lot of books and videos that can teach you how to do this if you are not sure.
- Don’t ignore your dog’s energy level. Many problems are created because of boredom. A busy dog is a happy dog. Give them plenty to do so that their minds stay occupied. If your work keeps you away from home a lot, consider doggy daycare. It allows your dog to have the interaction that they all crave.
- By investing the time into learning how your dog’s mind works, you can develop strategies for correcting bad behavior. Any behavioral problem can be corrected. It is never too late, and your dog will never be too old.