People love pets. Whether it’s a tiny hamster or a mouse running on a wheel and otherwise being cute, or one of the more traditional dogs or cats, it’s hard to imagine a life without our beloved pets. And of course, the more intelligent pets such as cats and dogs wind up feeling just like part of the family.
Unfortunately, both cats and dogs require some amount of training. Cats aren’t particularly prone to being trained, but a dog? Dogs exist specifically because humans began to train wolves. Dogs are literally designed to be trained, which means there are many benefits of well trained dogs.
1. Friendly Attitude
Dogs learn their personality, just like human beings. While there are a number of instincts and reflexes that are inherent to all dogs, most of their personality is trained. A good example of this situation is the common pit bull. A pit bull isn’t actually a breed of dog. Rather, pit bull is an umbrella term for several breeds of bulldog with similar physical features.
Yet people often think that pit bulls are more fearsome and aggressive than any other dog breed. Why? Because pit bulls are often used in dog fighting and as guard dogs since they’re large and powerful. Since many pit bulls are trained to be aggressive, many of them wind up being aggressive. But it’s not in their nature to be aggressive, it’s simply a trained reflex.
This is why one of the major benefits of well trained dogs is a good attitude. With proper training, aggressive instincts can be curtailed and focused. While it’s not true that any given dog breed is more aggressive than any other, it is true that some are more territorial than others. Training can overcome that, allowing you to have a family pet that’s sweet as pie and if they are leashed trained too, imagine the nice peaceful walks you both can have.
2. Performing Simple Tasks
The image of the family dog getting Dad his slippers may be fading out of fashion, but that doesn’t mean dogs don’t do it. Fetching things is another instinct of many dogs, trained into them by many generations of human design. It was often meant for retrieving prey after a hunter had gotten the kill.
Fetching isn’t the only task a dog can perform, however. Everyone’s seen a service dog, the trained animals that help blind people move around in public. That’s not the only kind of service animal that exists, however. There are also therapy dogs, which help people going through psychiatric treatment remain calm, and comfort dogs who help the terminally ill. There’s even more than one story about a dog that was trained to call 911 in the event of their master having a seizure.
3. Easy To House
People don’t always like to admit it, but often times a dog needs much more space than what’s actually available in their home. Some dogs need to run, other dogs simply need to have more room. This can sometimes lead a dog to be destructive in an attempt to communicate their upset.
Dogs upset in this manner tend to do things such as rip up furniture, knock things over, dig through the trash, dig holes in the yard, and generally all the other stereotypical actions of a “bad dog”. It can sometimes even lead to becoming poorly house-trained.
4. Let You Know When Something’s Wrong
Everyone loves the idea of a guard dog, but guarding can be about more than just physically defending a person or place. One of the biggest benefits of well trained dogs is that they can be taught to recognize “dangerous, deal with this now” and “go get master”. Certainly, they have a limited understanding, and so can only understand limited amounts of information.
However, a dog can easily learn “attack if people are on property” and “get master if people are near property”. That sort of guard task is well within a dog’s ability to learn. You can also train them to recognize where children should and should not go. Many dogs have herding instincts since they were bred to herd sheep and cattle. Such dogs can be trained to keep children away from a specific area, such as a swimming pool or a set of stairs. Certainly, a dog is no substitute for proper safety, but it can be a bit safer to leave the room for a minute.
5. Become A Member Of The Family
The real truth is that any person worthy of having a dog wants that dog to be a member of their family. They want to form a bond, a connection with a living being. They want to care for it and let it care for them. Without a doubt, the most important of the benefits of well trained dogs is the ability to build a close bond with you.
It’s not that poorly trained dogs are unable to form that bond. Most dogs can form a bond, and as long as they’re not abused they’re generally fairly friendly. However, poorly trained dogs tend to be at least as much trouble as they’re worth, if not more. They break things, they tear things up, they dig holes in the yard and they bother the neighbors. This can lead to a number of different problems, anything from simply being annoying to being evicted by your landlord if it gets bad enough.
This is why proper dog training is important. A canine obedience school is important for any dog because every dog can benefit from being properly trained.
Are there some dogs that aren’t smart enough to perform impressive tasks like herding your children or becoming a seeing eye dog? Of course. In point of fact, many dogs aren’t. But a well trained dog doesn’t have to perform impressive tasks to have benefits. The ability to make your life easier by simply being a friendly, companionable family member is often a dog’s biggest benefit.
So if you love your dog, don’t put off getting obedience training. It may be the best thing you ever did for them.
Also see my page on small dog training