Dog training. It takes time, patience, consistency, and most importantly LOVE. And when its done right, it not only leads to a happy pup, but also a happy owner. Most people have an ideal vision of what they want their dog to be like at the end of training, but not everyone's vision is the same. Some people don't want their dog to be in a crate, others don't mind barking or jumping, while some don't mind getting licked to death by their dog...to each their own. But before you consider brushing off some behaviors, take a look at this list of why some training skills are important for dogs to learn, even if you might not use them in your every day routine:
1. Crate Training
Crate training, while controversial among dog owners, can be extremely useful. Whether you are in an emergency situation, your pup has to stay at the vet for a period of time, or simply needs to stay with a sitter while you are traveling, crate training is ALWAYS useful. Often times when owners travel for vacation, dogs are left at either the vet, or with a dog sitter. Rover and WAG! are becoming very popular among dog owners, and while cage-free boarding is wonderful, there will undoubtedly be a time where your dog will need to be crated for one reason or another. It could be because the sitter has to run out to the store and can't safely supervise all the pups staying with them, or maybe your dog just needs a break from the craziness of playtime. The crate, even if not used in your household on a daily basis, can provide a safe place for your dog to relax when necessary.
2. Good Leash Skills
While this is a common goal among most dog owners, some owners may not walk their dogs often because they have a large backyard or use puppy pads inside the house. Regardless of the bathroom situation, there will be a point in time where someone is going to have to put your dog on a leash, and most people don't enjoy being dragged around by dogs of any size (don't let the tiny ones fool you, they're basically superman when they want to be). So practice those leash skills, because you never know when you might need them!
3. Potty Training
Maybe you don't mind when your dog has an accident in the house, or misses their potty pad by a couple inches. Maybe you say "Well at least he was close" or "At least he did it in front of the door". Your vet, your dog sitter, or your daycare person will not see it the same way. Save them the headache and potty train your dog the right way. You don't want to have to find a new dog sitter (or worse, have your sitter charge you extra) every time because your dog keeps using the wrong places to go to the bathroom.
4. Impulse Control
This one is a blanket term that cover behaviors including jumping, door dashing, counter surfing, etc. These skills cannot only make your sitter, vet, or family's life easier, but they can mean the difference between life and death for some dogs. Maybe you have a fenced-in front yard, but maybe your dog sitter doesn't. Teaching your dog not to run out an open door can keep them from getting hit by a car, or possibly running up to another dog that may not be as friendly as they are. Teaching you dog these crucial skills will help guarantee that he (or she) will always be a pleasure to watch. Guests will enjoy coming over to your house more, they may even let you bring your dog to their house. Life is easier for everyone with these skills, and your dog will be happier living in a household where he is doing everything right!
If you've made it far enough through this post to get here, congratulations! This post is not meant to be harsh on any dog owners; As I said, to each his own. However, it is important to understand that not everyone knows your dog like you do, and not everyone will be as tolerant of your dog as you are. Teaching your furry friend these four training skills can ensure that your dog will have a great time, no matter where they are or who they are with. You may not use these skills every single day (although practice makes perfect!), but training them can help you build a strong, loving relationship with your pup, and ensure that they will always be welcome wherever they go. So contact your local trainer, or look up some Youtube videos, and get training!