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postheadericon The key to a happy and healthy relationship between you and your dog is good training

The key to a happy and healthy relationship between you and your dog is good training. All dogs need to be trained to be obedient for their own health and well-being, just as much as making them manageable is easier for you.

Often, if dogs are not trained correctly, they will become unruly, aggressive and in some cases completely unmanageable. This is not just bad for the dog’s owner, it is also incredibly distressing for the dog. We humans intentionally bred only the submissive traits of wolves when creating the domesticated dog. Therefore, when it comes to leadership, it is not a role that our dogs feel comfortable in. However, all packs must have a leader and if its not you, then a dog will feel that it has to occupy the post even though it finds it confusing and stressful.

Moreover, a well-behaved dog is a pleasure to be around for all people, even non-dog lovers. Therefore, it is in everybody’s best interest to train your dog and ensure that he, or she, recognizes you as the boss.

The Basics of Training Your Dog

Because a dog is genetically programmed to want to please its master (you), the very best way of training is with positive reinforcement methods, such as clicker training, using treats as rewards or simply providing praise for good behavior. Almost all dog trainers recommend this approach to training rather than punishment of negative or naughty behavior.

It is advisable to begin training your dog as soon as possible. If you have a puppy, then training will be easy if you start from day one. However, even if you adopt an adult dog training is not difficult as long as you begin as you mean to go on. In other words, do not get carried away by the joy of having a new pet and spoil him, or her, because you will be making life difficult when it comes to enforcing rules. For example, if a house rule is no dogs on the furniture, make sure this is upheld from the day a new dog is welcomed into your home. Remember, mixed messages will simply confuse and distress a dog.

Manners All Dogs Should Have

Of course, each home will have its own rules. However, there are some basic rules that all dogs should abide by, partly for his, or her, safety, partly to reinforce your position as boss and partly to ensure that no visitors to the home are distressed by your dogs behavior. For example:

Dogs should never jump up on people – you may think of it as an affectionate way to greet you, but if a dog puts its paws on your shoulders, it is likely to think this is an acceptable thing to do to anyone who walks through the door and not everyone enjoys being leapt on. Additionally, jumping up to your height can be a gesture to challenge your authority, so it is advisable to make a dog wait patiently until you are ready to greet him, or her.

Dogs shouldn’t beg at the table – begging will often occur if your dog has been fed at or under the table in the past. Therefore, if you do not wish your dog to drool at the sight of you eating, do not offer him, or her, sneaky treats.

Dogs should never be possessive over bones or toys – In case your dog gets hold of something it shouldn’t, it is important that you are able to take any item away from him, or her. Moreover, this is a great way to establish your authority and gain your dog’s respect. Therefore, it is a good idea to take a favorite toy, bone or food away from your dog at random points when he, or she, is a puppy. This may seem a little cruel, but if the dog behaves well, you can replace the item straight away and give him, or her, lots of praise. If, on the other hand, the dog growls or is aggressive, you may need to take things from him, or her, more frequently and for longer periods. The aim is to get the dog to recognize all items as yours – you just let him, or her, play or chew them.

Obviously, these are just some of the things that a dog owner should consider. However, they are great foundations from which to expand your dogs training. If you are having difficulty with your dog, seek the advice of a animal trainer, behaviorist or veterinarian.

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