Benefits of Obedience Training©
Statistical information proves that a primary reason for our high euthanasia rate is due to too many unwanted pets which are then relinquished by their owners. Research indicates that 87% of all relinquished dogs received little or no obedience training. Pet owner education, therefore, is very important.
Many dog owners can benefit from training their dogs under the guidance of a qualified trainer who will teach them to communicate on a level that their dog understands. It is not uncommon for an owner to believe that his dog is stupid because the dog does not respond to his teaching methods. It is, in fact, in the teaching methods where the problem lies.
When you train your dog, you strengthen your role as a leader. Your dog learns that he can look up to you for direction, that you have something to show him, that you expect something from him and that you expect him to be good. When you are a good teacher, you become a good leader. This is very reassuring to a dog.
Telling A Dog Not To Do Something is Not Enough!
Contrary to popular belief, it is not enough for you to tell your dog not to do something. It leaves him clueless as to what to do instead. Obedience commands are the tools you use. You tell him to WAIT rather than holding him back from running out the door. You tell him OFF and SIT instead of grabbing him so he can’t jump on someone. Your directions acknowledge his intelligence and establish your leadership.
“The Criticism Trap”
Other owners seem to constantly correct their dogs for one thing or another. These owners really need obedience training. It will give them opportunities to praise their dog.
There are dogs that are so accustomed to an owner’s negative attention they become insensitive to it and find it rewarding. Wesley C. Becker, in Parents are Teachers, refers to this as “The Criticism Trap”. He uses the grumpy old school teacher as an example. The grumpy old school teacher turns her back on the class to write on the chalkboard, and instantly the kids are standing up and acting out. The teacher turns around and yells, “Sit down!” The kids sit down and so the teacher is rewarded for yelling, “Sit down”. However, as soon as she turns her back again, everyone is standing up again. Why? It is to get her to yell, “Sit down”. That’s the trap. We yell “NO!” and the dog quits. We’re rewarded, and then he does it again to get us to yell “NO!” Negative attention can be very rewarding. Dogs are constantly being rewarded by owners for Negative behaviors. They jump up on people and get touched when they are pushed down. For many dogs this invites them to jump more.
If You Only Notice A Dog When It’s Being Naughty
You Will End Up With a Naughty Dog!
When you go through obedience training, you practice daily and on a daily basis you praise good behavior. Your dog gets treats, but, most of all, he gets positive attention for appropriate behavior.
An owner may say, “We don’t need obedience training, he does everything I ask. The dog is perfect except for this one problem.” Obedience training will make the difference even in this case, because the dog has learned to take your praise and affection for granted. You’re so pleased with him that he doesn’t have to try to please you anymore. Your reaction to his misbehaving is rewarding. Obedience training emphasizes the fact that the dog does have a job and responsibilities. He does have to be a good dog for your praise.
Obedience training is an opportunity for you to reward your dog for being good and to motivate him to want to be good. I’ve always said that a dog that knows he’s good usually doesn’t want to do bad things. Yes, dogs have self-esteem. A dog that values praise is not only more correctable, but is motivated to be good.