Why Does My Dog Need to Be Trained?Presumably, you chose to bring a dog into your home because you wanted a furry family member, protection, companionship, assistance around the house with some of your tasks, or any combination of those.
- An untrained dog is not able to reliably be any of those things. A dog that is barking or refusing to come when called is not acting like a member of the family.
- A dog that hides from visitors or, worse, growls and threatens them is not showing healthy protective instincts.
- A dog that is creating more trouble than joy is not a good companion.
Resources to Help You Train Your Dog
- Training your dog can be done on your own or with the help of a professional trainer. Word of mouth is probably the best way to find a good trainer. Check out your local social media pages and ask your veterinarian for a referral. A good trainer will command your dog’s respect without scaring them, and they will also work with you and your family to teach you how to interact with your dog to make training easier.
- If your dog needs help with basic obedience, you can also try signing up for a group class. These are often held at pet supply stores. For example, PetSmart is a store that holds training classes for puppies, adult dogs, and even dogs that are on the path to becoming therapy animals. If you would prefer to train your dog on your own, consider the AKC GoodDog! Calling the hotline will connect you with a professional trainer who will offer live support over the phone.
- Susan Garrett—our friend and one of the most well-respected dog trainers out there—emphasizes the importance of “recall,” especially with regard to safety and basic dog training. Her website also includes some of the best crate game material ever published, which is particularly helpful for those with puppies. Additionally, Zak George is a trainer who puts out free videos on just about any dog misbehavior you can think of. Check out his YouTube channel to learn more about dog behavior and how you can shape your dog with calm, positive training methods.
Susan Garrett at the 20th Anniversary Agility Camp
- There are also a wide variety of books on the market for people who need help training their dogs. One is 101 Dog Tricks: Step-by-step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog. This book focuses on not only basic obedience but also tricks that can help you communicate better with your furry friend. A dog that knows tricks is a dog that is able to be distracted and diverted toward better behavior when you catch them doing something they shouldn’t. Another good book is Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement. This book will walk you through a program that will turn your whirling dervish into a well-mannered pup.