The Benefits of Dog Training
Training a dog well has two principal benefits: First, owning the dog becomes a more pleasant, rewarding experience; and second, trained properly, a dog often becomes much more contented and peaceful.
Good training results in benefits that extend beyond the basics of obedience, to the point of impacting the entire quality of life of the dog, and consequently, the whole family. By “good training” I refer to an intuitive, commonsense approach to conditioning a dog that takes into account basic dog psychology.
It will be a challenge to do justice to this subject in the length of an article like this. But I’ll try!
Traditional Dog Training, the Good and the Bad
The different approaches to dog training over time have typically consisted of a system of reward and punishment, where desirable behaviors are rewarded and undesirable ones punished; with the intended outcome that the dog repeat rewarded behaviors and discontinue the others.
Rewarding typically involves food treats, verbal praise or a combination of the two. Punishment ranges from pulling on a choke collar, the use of an electric collar to emit mild shocks, or harsher actions. Recent decades have thankfully seen more emphasis on positive, reward-focused training. More people are acknowledging that punishing undesired actions in a dog, while seeming to eliminate the behavior, carries the danger of instilling fear patterns that can later manifest in aggressive behavior.
Good Training = Good Results
If I had to describe effective dog training in one word, I’d probably say: “Communication”. Dogs are intelligent and intuitive creatures. Giving due consideration to this fact is where good training begins; for the ideal dog-and-master relationship is one of understanding and mutual respect. This may, to some, sound like a strange way to talk about the dog-human interaction. Yet there’s ample evidence that this kind of relationship promotes a functional and harmonious environment.
It can be helpful to correlate some elements of dog training with child-rearing. If you think of it, patience, commonsense and instinct serve a human parent well. In the same way, such qualities should be in play as we set out to condition our dogs, and help them harmonize with the things that comprise their world and ours – the environment we share.
But we also have to learn the differences between dog minds and human minds. Therefore, a simple and basic understanding of dog psychology is fundamental to effective training. For example, the tendency of many dog-loving humans to greet their pooches with loud expressions of enthusiasm, conveys an unintended message to the dog; one of chaos and instability. That in turn translates into the dog considering it necessary to impose control and leadership over such unstable human creatures!
Good Training Has Enduring Benefits
Good training that has enduring benefits uses effective communication and in my opinion recognizes the fundamental dynamics of the relationship that dogs have with one another in a pack setting – the natural state from which canines derive their mindset.
I should probably offer a caution at this point. If you are recognizing the need to train your dog – whether you have in mind basic obedience training, or your aim is to correct behavior issues – and you are investigating various methods, you need to be prepared to encounter some strong opinions for or against a given method. Some people look upon intuitive “pack” oriented training as being a “dominance” technique considering it to be inherently aggressive and overbearing. Yet good practitioners of the “pack approach” display no such qualities. On the contrary, intuitive pack-based training at its best is the epitome of kind and gentle conditioning. The stability and evident wellbeing of dogs so-trained bear testament to the effectiveness of the method.
Seeking an Effective Solution
When you finish this article, If you wish to explore further, I’ll be introducing a proven and effective training solution that after much investigation I do not hesitate to recommend.
In the meantime, let’s consider some of the options. Often we are presented with the quandary of limited choices when it comes to dog training. On the one hand, we can buy books, and hope that by reading and practicing enough, we’ll get it right. On the other hand, there are professional trainers that can be expensive, and may or may not produce the results we are after.
A good solution, and one I’ve personally wanted for our visitors for a long time, is what I’ve recently found, and am delighted to be able to promote such a good quality – and affordable – program. Again, check details at the end of the article.
The Matter of Cost
A Look at the Numbers
As you or I consider training for our dogs, the first question is likely to be, am I to hire a professional, or do it myself. Two ways of hiring professional trainers are for a group training program, or individual training. The former is fine and even desirable for basic obedience training. However, for owners that wish for a more tailored approach, or for cases where you are dealing with behavior issues such as excessive barking, aggression or separation anxiety, private in-home training is the better choice.
That brings us to the matter of cost. We did an informal (unscientific) survey of in-home training services, taken from *five varied geographical areas in the United States. We compared fees from 18 businesses. Here are our findings relating to fees charged for in-home dog training sessions:
• Average fees, $175.00 for the session, typically of 1 ½ hours
• They ranged from below $100.00 to $250.00 for the session
• One charges a minimum of $800.00, which provides a one-week boarding and training.
• One charges a $400.00 minimum, which includes 6 in-home sessions.
The latter two items probably provide a somewhat more realistic idea of costs than the first two items, for the simple reason that one session is unlikely, in most cases, to produce the needed results. It should be noted that the last item, the $400.00 package, at $66.00 per session is a bargain, so long as the training is effective and thorough.
Becoming Your Own Dog Trainer
Some owners may choose to train their own dogs, investing the time to learn the necessary skills in order to accomplish the task. For others however, doing their own training may not be so much a matter of saving money. Rather, they see the value in learning a little about dog psychology for themselves, thereby gaining skills they can apply to any dog, any time, present or future.
If circumstances allow, I personally recommend that you consider being your own trainer. If you have the time and interest, it is extremely rewarding to gain the understanding that does deeper than knowing basic commands and actions.
Small Investment, Big Results
A Highly Effective Training Solution
I’m very enthusiastic about a program that we recently found which is reasonable in cost and highly effective. I’ve personally invested a lot of time checking this out, including studying many of the training videos. Without reservation, I highly recommend the approach. To learn more Click Here
Learn by Observation
Video demonstrations are really the ideal alternative to the one-on-one home consultation. But not just any videos – they must have outstanding content, and provide you with easy-to-grasp concepts that are demonstrated graphically in live training sessions. See my recommendation by Clicking Here.
*North Carolina, Boston, Atlanta, Illinois/Michigan, Missouri