By Paul Tan (Owner of Bailey the Golden)
Having a dog is a major responsibility. Too often, individuals are buying dogs for the wrong reasons: it could vary from an impulsive purchase elicited by the adorable creature, to wanting it to be a surprise for a loved one. Although the intentions may be good, on most occasions, this mentality results in neglected pets that are eventually given away for adoption or treated as a disposable commodity. So, as a dog owner, it is your job to help him understand how to function within the community, how to live with your family, as well as being a good companion.
Dogs are different from humans and they have behaviours that are species-specific. These often conflict with human expectations of proper behaviour. In order to fine-tune and help your new family member get accustomed to the right social perspectives, you need to train your dog. By training your dog, you will not only build an enduring relationship but also come to understand each other. A well-trained dog is a pleasure to live with and often welcomed by friends and even strangers.
For a start, look for basic obedience training sessions that are organised for a group so that your dog will get to socialise with other humans and dogs. It is also an opportunity for you to learn and share experiences and tips on dog training. Do some research for a good and reputable trainer. Quite often, we humans think dog training is all about training the dog but in fact, much of the training is for the human, specifically the owner. How you communicate, your body language, the commands you use and how you lead – these all play a major role in how the dog responds to your training. Two of the key components in dog training are consistency, and making the time to train your dog. All you need is 5 to 10 minutes a day.
In basic obedience training, you would work on executing the following commands/actions as part of a training programme: sit, down, stay, come and heel work. All these should be done with a leash and not off-leash. In the training programme given by your trainer, what we are effecting is conditioning. Consistency is crucial in ensuring the success in training your dog. Communicating to family members and helpers to use the same command, along with how it should be executed during this training period, helps to demonstrate consistency in the message and expectations of your dog’s behaviour. How quickly your dog responds to the training through the conditioned behaviour also varies depending on the breed of the dog. Different dogs have different intelligence level, so be patient when training your dog. You will be able to enjoy the fruit of your patience when you have a companion who understands and responds to your commands through dedicated training.
About the author:
Paul Tan is the owner of Bailey the Golden, our brand ambassador. Bailey started training for canine obedience competitions when he was 7 months old. He has appeared in several TV appearances, including a commercial with famed dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. Bailey is currently taking Astamate as part of his supplement diet. You may follow Bailey on Instagram: Bailey the Golden