In Savannah Morning News Column

Dog Training At Home

Savannah Morning News – July 21, 2017 Allisia Vroom, Dog Training Coordinator

Bringing home a new dog can be an exciting time for the whole family. While you are planning all the fun things you are going to do with your new four-legged friend, your dog is trying to adjust to their new home and new family. Whether your dog is a puppy or a senior, it can take 6 to 8 weeks for them to adjust to their new life. The dog you have now may not be the same dog you first brought home and that can be very frustrating to owners. Most people wait until a problem arises to seek help from a trainer when the reality is it is much more efficient to prevent the problem before it starts. Creating a strong foundation for good manners will result in a healthier relationship between you and your dog and a more harmonious household.

The top three benefits to dog training are:

  1. Builds a Positive, Rewarding Relationship

Building a relationship with your dog is more than just having cuddle time and playing with them. It is understanding how to communicate with your dog in a positive way and teaching them to look to you for guidance. If my dog does not understand what I am asking them to do, I can’t get mad at them for not responding the way I expect them to. This will lead to frustration and confusion on both ends of the leash. Dog training helps to elevate and improve your relationship by facilitating stronger communication and understanding between you and your pet.

  1. Teaches Life Skills

Living in a human world can come with certain pressures that dogs are not naturally ready to handle. Early training will help prevent anxiety and stress related behaviors such as destructive chewing and inappropriate barking that can make home life difficult. Creating and implementing your own set of ground rules from the moment you bring your dog home will help them adjust more quickly to their new surroundings. If basic home rules are not clearly established, it’s unrealistic to expect your new companion to know and follow them. Some examples of basic rules include alerting you when they need to go outside or not jumping on the counter .

  1. Prevents Behavior Problems

Training your dog builds a common language between you and your pet and prevents problem behaviors that can stem from a lack of understanding. Many dogs are punished for behaviors that they simply didn’t know were “bad”. By teaching your dog positive behaviors and reinforcing them, you prevent the unwanted ones. Once a dog is regularly displaying a problem behavior it can take more time to modify the bad one.

People who take the time to teach their pet  will lead more fulfilling lives with their canine companions. The training process does not have to be costly or intense and the more enjoyable it is for the both of you, the better the results will be. If you are interested in training your dog, check out the Dog Training Program at the Humane Society for Greater Savannah. You can visit our  website for more information at www.humanesocietysav.org/training-classes or email training@humanesocietysav.org if you have any questions.