No dog training creates dog behavior problems which unfortunately, more times than not, is a key factor to owners surrendering their dogs at shelters. The majority of surrendered dogs have had absolutely no dog training at all.
Ask anyone at a shelter, they will confirm this.
Don’t let it get to the point to where “Just like your bratty teen needs some structure and leadership so do dogs.” No dog training and no structure means you will eventually wind up with dog behavior problems.
From my perspective as a dog trainer, surrendering your dog to a shelter is very sad and unnecessary when the solution is so simple. Train your dog.
If you do not train your dog to do anything else at least train your dog to sit.
In my 30 years of dog training I’ve heard many excuses for not training a dog but the three that stand out the most are:
1. I don’t have the money
2. My last dog was perfect and I didn’t train him
3. I’m too busy to train my dog
Well, you know what I’m going to do next, right? That’s right. I’m going to blow holes in these excuses. Or better phrased, I’ll present compelling logic to the contrary. So read on my friends.
I don’t have the money
Most new dog owners are excited to get their new dog or puppy and begin to interact with him by teaching sit and shake. Free training! It’s cool to test your dog’s skills and to see how smart he is.
I’ve gone into many homes with problem dogs and very few say to me, “My dog doesn’t know any commands.” If they do say that, they usually think I mean more complicated versions of commands like a down/stay or place command.
They have forgotten about teaching their dog sit and shake when they first brought their dog or puppy home. The sit and shake is usually still there. And that’s a great starting point – even if their dog’s response is selective, you know, when only food treats are involved.
Even if you never taught your dog any other command but “Sit!” that will do just fine.
Now you’re thinking–How can I say that?
If you think about it, a well disciplined sit command can fix many dog behavior problems like running out the front door, jumping, dog aggression and often times barking.
And don’t forget your dog should sit to earn everything he wants, including your love and affection.
The bottom line is that sit is so simple to teach, most everybody-including kids begin to teach their dog to sit because that’s what you know to do with dogs. No cost to teach but a heavy price to pay with no dog training. No excuse.
My last dog was perfect and I didn’t train him
You got lucky. What else can I say? It’s pretty amazing how our previous dogs kind of set the bar for all our future dogs. It’s no wonder that new owners begin to think, “I didn’t do obedience training with my last dog and he was perfect so naturally I didn’t think I had to train my new dog – until now.
Sooner or later I get a call and it’s always the same comment: “I’ve had labs (or any breed) all my life and they’ve been great easy dogs and now I’ve got this one and I have dog behavior problems.”
You simply can’t judge your new dog by the standards of past dogs. You must assume the worst dog behavior and train for the best behavior. If you train from the beginning, the worst dog behavior will never come out.
You should start setting rules and boundaries the day your dog arrives and maintain them. If you slack off after 12-18 months of age your dog may become confused about his sense of place causing stress and behavior problems begin to surface.
Not all dogs are alike. You cannot afford to think that way because not every dog is perfect with no dog training. No excuse.
I’m too busy to train my dog
Training is not a time consuming endeavor – especially if you start on day one when your dog comes home. Consistency, not time, is what is important.
Train your dog for 2 minutes, 3 times a day and you will truly be surprised at the results. If you don’t want to teach your dog a lot of commands, just teach him to sit and proof him around all the distractions that are relevant to what you need.
Don’t be one of those dog owners that would sooner put up with a dog problem rather than find a solution because everything else with your dog is perfect. Learn how to get the most out of your dog, and teach your dog how to get the most out of you.
So get cracking on the problem. Remember, the problem might not have ever come up if your dog had learned to sit for everything and had been the beneficiary of good exercise on regular walks every day with you.
You have the power!
Your dog is counting on you.
Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you. Don’t be a stranger. I’d love to hear what you think so comment below.
Remember: “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”
Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad. Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.
His Ground Rules for Great Dogs is your must have, easy step-by-step process to helping your dog. Be the dog owner your dog needs to be a great dog. Ground Rules gets you there. Grab them now.