If you have ever watched the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show, you have seen all the different breeds of dogs and heard a overview of each breed's history, which includes information about the job each of the dogs are known for (i.e., hunting, herding, and so forth). But, before dogs were able to do any job, they first had to be trained in the basics.
Every dog needs to be trained to learn the rules of cohabitation with people and other pets. And, every dog has it in his or her nature to do a job. But, dogs must be taught the rules first - where they may sit, sleep and eat. They have to learn how to greet someone. They must be potty trained to do their business outside. They also need to be leash trained even if, eventually, they may be trusted off lead.
Once basic training has been accomplished, your dog is ready to be trained to do a job, should you have one in mind. If a job is not assigned, oftentimes dogs will assume jobs of their own making, basically because it's in their nature. Whether barking to alert you of the mailman, chasing rabbits from the garden, herding your housecats and other small pets, or simply snuggling up to you on the couch as your comforting companion, dogs will perform what they believe to be their job to the best of their ability every day.
Whether you train your dog yourself, take your puppy to classes or hire a professional dog trainer, be sure to choose a training method (i.e., clicker training, relationship-based training, motivational training, etc.) that everyone in the household will be able to use. A few things we've learned over decades of training our pets and working with dogs:
· Repetition is key.
· Rewards DO work.
· Training takes a lot of time and patience.
· There is a teaching moment in every day.
"Dogs like to obey. It gives them security." ~ James Herriot
ZG pro team