If you’ve had your pooch since they were a puppy, chances are you probably enrolled them in some kind of puppy school. These group classes are fantastic for socialisation and establishing good behaviours. And you’re not alone thinking that it’s possibly the Pawrent that needs a little training either.
Allowing dogs to be dogs and giving them activities and challenges that hone their dog skills avoids behavioural problems down the track. It also makes training easier when they’re fulfilled and focused!
Here are our top five reasons for continuing your doggy’s education journey…
Behavioural Training is a wonderful bonding experience for you and your fur baby. Dogs love to please, and during exercises they are literally learning exactly what to do to please you. Studies have shown that dogs do recognise emotions in humans, so activities where you are making continual eye contact and smiling at them will produce a positive feeling within your pooch. Plus, dog classes are time that you are dedicating just to them, which they value above all else.
Understanding canine behaviour and their signals your dog uses to communicate with you, especially when they are stressed or anxious, will help you handle stressful situations together.
Training builds up trust between you, which means your pupper will trust that you will keep them safe in any situation, if you make yourself the most important person in their life, you can trust that they won’t rush headlong into someone’s picnic! (well, okay… in theory.. but it’s all dog owners aim!)
Even if you have done an obedience class with your dog, it’s important to remember that bad behavioural habits can creep in on both sides…them AND us.. that can lead to bigger issues over time. You might think that the way your dog jumps up to eat food off the table is cute, but the guests at the next table in the café may not be so impressed with your pup’s thieving ways!
Training and reinforcing the right behaviours is also vital for keeping your dog safe. If your dog inadvertently encounters a dangerous situation – a busy road, for example – you can issue a warning to them to stop or return to your side. Studies show that well balanced trained dogs have a lower risk of getting hit by a car and are less likely to be attacked by another dog.
The consequences of letting poor behaviours go unchecked, can range from damage to your house and garden to severe behavioural problems which can put you, your dog, other people and other pets at risk of serious injury. But with some small tweaks in their routine and surroundings most problems are easily fixed.
3. Improve their Social Skills
Sydney is a very dog-friendly city, and there are numerous places that you can socialise with your pupper. But that also means that there’s a high chance your dog will encounter other fur kids on a regular basis. For you to know what is positive play in the dog park or when they’ve had too much is key for their happiness and will stop them lashing out because they’re scared. Your dog needs to learn what is acceptable behaviour around other dogs.
Even if you aren’t planning on hanging out at the local pub with your pooch, there are plenty of other health reasons why it’s important to socialise your pet. For example, a well socialised, well-mannered dog is much easier to manage around others and at the vet or the groomers.
New environments, new people, other animals, loud noises and being touched in the wrong way can all cause stress to our furry friends. But controlled exposure to new sounds, sights and smells help them make sense of their world – this is why service dogs are exposed to different environments from an early age. Socialisation also improves mood, lowers stress and can help with cognitive function, all of which have great health benefits.
Believe it or not, physical exercise alone isn’t enough for a lot of dogs. They also need to stay mentally active.
Exercises that stimulate your doggo’s brain will tire them out both physically and mentally. This has the added bonus of lowering stress levels and treating issues such as separation anxiety.
If you have a super-smart dog, look for classes where they learn to put their mind to good use – such as nose work or agility. This is a much better way of exercising the mind than calculating how to get the fridge door open. Who knows what they might achieve with the right training?
It’s been a tough year and more than ever we all appreciate the value of connecting with others. Doggy education classes are not just about giving your dog a chance to meet others – they’re also a great opportunity for you to get out and abou
t and connect with people with similar interests. Some of our clients have become great friends through their dogs attending day care on the same date.
Attending group classes also gives you a chance to hear from others about their experiences with their dog and may teach you some new tricks! While we like to think our dog is totally unique, there are many common behaviours that occur across breeds. Chatting to other fur-parents means you can identify if what you’re seeing is ‘normal’ or is behaviour that needs to be reviewed. Other dog owners are also a great source of advice about what toys to buy, where to source food for fussy eaters, the best off-leash beaches – the list goes on!
So what are you waiting for? Click here to view our program of workshops and give your doggo the education they deserve.