Updated: Jul 24
48 million households in the US own a dog, and it's easy to see why so many people have chosen to bring a furry friend into their family. Dogs are man's (or woman's!) best friends, and having a pup in your life can be a very rewarding experience.
However, it can also be a challenging one.
You can avoid many of the common stressors of having a dog by training your puppy. If you're wondering what the main advantages are of investing the time and money to do so, read on to find out.
1. A Dog Who Listens
The most obvious advantage of a trained dog is that your pup will always listen to you. There are innumerable situations where this will come in handy — from moving them from one room to another if you need them out of the bedroom to ensuring they get off the couch when asked.
This can save a lot of frustration.
2. More Freedom
Although you might mostly think of the advantages for yourself, there are advantages for the dog too — and the main one is that a well-behaved puppy gets more freedom.
For example, if your dog has been trained to have great recall, then you can let them off-leash in a safe and secure area, happy in the knowledge that they will come back to you when asked. You can also recall them if they ever manage to escape out of the yard, rather than being forced to chase them down.
It opens up a world of opportunity too. You can take your pup out to restaurant patios with you rather than leave them behind, which is much more pleasant for you both!
3. A More Confident Dog
A trained dog is a confident dog. The reason for this is that you establish boundaries, keep them safe and secure with your words and cues alone, and your dog is able to explore the world in a very controlled way.
When more than 70% of dogs have anxiety, this can be absolutely critical in letting their personality shine without giving them total and utter freedom. In fact, in this sense, freedom, before they're ready for that, can actually create a much more insecure and even damaged dog.
4. Limited Reactivity
Many people associate the term reactivity with aggression, but this isn't the case. Some dogs experience reactivity in the form of excitement, where the sight of another person or dog simply makes them lose their mind at the idea they'll get some attention!
While cute, this can be very inconvenient, especially in a public setting.
Training your dog early sets them up for success in these public environments and teaches them that these behaviors don't yield the rewards they want. Instead, training teaches them that what gets them rewards is paying attention to you, their owner.
5. A Good Relationship With Your Puppy
One of the best benefits that comes with having a trained puppy is a good relationship with your dog! If you slack off on training and let them run wild, they're likely to have very little communication with you.
They also won't understand that you're the person who has the ability to dish out rewards and praise them. Training shows them that you (and other humans) mean good things are coming their way if they behave in the desired way, which helps deepen your bond together.
One of the more trivial reasons for having a trained dog (but a good one nonetheless) is the entertainment factor.
It's most important to teach your dog good manners and desired behaviors over party tricks, but having them able to learn cool tricks to show off to you, your family, and guests is undeniably a huge added bonus. Some awesome dogs that tricks can learn include:
Take a bow
And many more!
Always get the advice of a professional trainer before going ahead with trick-teaching, though. Some breeds (mainly larger ones) aren't built for jumping tricks, and younger puppies shouldn't learn tricks that put too much strain on their bodies (including jumping tricks, sit pretty, etc.).
While everything above is a good reason to train your puppy, safety is the number one most important reason. There are many situations where your dog's safety and even survival may rely on their training, for example:
They take off after another animal and almost dash into a busy road, leaving you to rely on their recall
They try to approach another dog that is clearly not friendly
You drop a piece of dog-toxic food on the floor, such as garlic, and need them to leave it
You need to move them away from a sudden and unexpected danger quickly (like fire)
Having that basic training in place so that you can always pull their attention back to you and away from the danger is the most critical reason for training you could have.
Training Your Puppy Is Always Worthwhile
There are many good reasons for training your puppy, from party tricks to making them into great listeners — but the most important reasons are to build a strong, solid relationship with your dog and for their safety. Puppies are more malleable and will learn more quickly than adult dogs, so although it's never too late to start, train them as soon as possible, and you'll really see the results pay off.
If you're near Carrollton, Texas, and need some help with your training, book a consultation with us today! We set dogs up for success with our engagement and rewards-based program.
Have FUN with your dog!
K9 Culture Dog Training