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Why Is It Important To Train My Dog?
Dog training is crucial to the safety of both the dog and humans that they have to interact and live with. While dogs may be domestic and fairly smart, they need help to adapt to life with humans and to share spaces with other pets.
For Safety To Yourself, Your Family, And Your Guests
A well-trained dog is a safe dog to live with. This is important whether your dog is known for being docile or their breed is notoriously aggressive.
Training comes in especially handy in homes where there are children and other pets. It is also useful as a way to protect any future guests you have from incidences with the dog.
For The Dog's Safety
Dog training is great for the dog's safety. This is more so with dog breeds that are known for being confrontational. If an untrained dog picks a fight with the wrong opponent, it could mean the end for the pooch.
Training helps keep them calm and gives you control in situations where the dog may be too riled up to control themselves.
To Make Your Dog Literally Smarter
Dogs have different levels of intelligence. Training helps to bridge these gaps by making the dog much smarter than they would have been without the training.
Studies have actually shown that dog training improves the dog's general problem-solving skills, including finding solutions for challenges they haven't already been trained to deal with.
Improve Your Bond
If you train your dog yourself or are involved in the professional training process, your bond with your furry best friend will strengthen more than you can imagine. Your dog learns to trust you, and they definitely will not mind getting to spend all that extra quality time with you.
For Cool Tricks
Last but not least, dog training is awesome as you get to teach your dog really cool tricks. The best thing about trick training your dog is the fact that you can teach them to do a lot of fun and interesting things, from walking on their hind legs to using the toilet.
When Should I Train My Dog?
Dog training can start as early as seven weeks of age. The earlier you start its training, the better it is for your dog. During its puppyhood, your dog will usually be very curious and willing to learn.
At this early age, start with basic commands, then build up to more elaborate tricks as you gain your dog's trust and figure out their learning style.
However, there is no limit on when you can start training your dog. Contrary to the old adage, you can actually teach old dogs new tricks. To be fair, training gets a bit harder and takes longer as the dog gets older. However, it is never too late to start.
Is It Worth It To Get A Dog Trainer?
Investing in a professional dog trainer is definitely an option worth considering, and the right choice of a trainer will give you great value for your money.
While you could actually train your dog yourself, it is usually a lot harder and will take a very long time. Here is a bit more on why it is better to work with a dog trainer.
They Are Efficient And Focused On The Goal
For the professional dog trainer, the training sessions are business, and they are not likely to get distracted by how incredibly cute your puppy is. Their goal-oriented and focused approach makes them more efficient and will get you results much faster.
They Have A Lot Of Experience That You Can Learn From
If you work with an experienced dog trainer, you will have access to incredible tips on how to train your dog and maintain the training results in the long run.
They understand the training needs of different dog breeds. They have tried and tested all the training approaches they are and will be in a great position to prepare you for a lifetime of keeping your pooch sharp.
They Have Access To Training Tools For Effective Training
Some forms of training, including guard dog and service dog programs, require access to specific tools and equipment that may not be readily available to amateur DIY dog trainers.
Buying the equipment may also not make financial sense, as you may not need the items once the dog learns what they need to learn.
Can I Train My Dog Myself?
Yes, you can train your dog yourself. However, this does not mean that it is the best idea for you or for your dog especially if you want specialization training for roles like guarding or support roles.
Below is a pros and cons analysis of training your dog entirely by yourself. That way, you will have a better idea of what you are getting yourself into if you choose the DIY route.
- DIY improves the bond between you and your dog.
- You choose what to teach your dog, including fun tricks.
- It is very affordable as you get to cut on trainer costs.
- It often takes much longer as you may not have the skill or experience for efficient training.
- It can be dangerous when training aggressive dogs.
- There are plenty of hidden costs, including treats and training equipment, that you might have to invest.
Simple tricks and commands are easy to teach as a pet owner with no professional dog-training experience. However, for more complicated and elaborate tricks, you may need to work with dog trainers.
How Long Does It Take To Train A Dog?
It takes about 4 to 6 weeks to train a dog on most basic skills and commands. For more complicated tricks and skills, you may have to spend 2 to 3 months of focused training to get your dog ready for their specialized roles.
The length of the training depends on a few factors. Here are the most important of these and how they can affect the timeline.
The Skills Being Taught
Basic skills include things like “sit,” “heal,” and “down” commands, as well as teaching your dog to come when called. This could take as little as two weeks for sharp dogs and when a good reward system is used.
However, complicated skills like guarding, tracking, rescue, and living assistance for working dogs will require more training time. In some cases, it could take up to one year for the dog to be considered fully trained and ready for service.
The Dog Breed
The dog's breed determines, among other things, their intelligence and trainability. Some dogs are smarter than others and generally more responsive to commands and new skills.
It goes without saying that more intelligent and obedient dogs are easier to train and typically require less time to learn the same material as their less intelligent counterparts.
The Training Techniques Being Used
There are very different methods of training dogs, from motivation and reward-based programs to clicker training, just to name a few examples. The method used matters as your dog may respond better to one method over another.
This is where the experience of professional dog trainers comes in handy. They know the strengths and pitfalls of each method and how to customize programs based on every dog's needs.
The Length And Intensity Of Training Sessions
This one is simple but a potent determinant of the success rate and timeline of dog training. If you want fast results, it is best to keep the training sessions short and consistent.
Overburdening your dog with drawn-out sessions and intense material will result in a sort of mental block. It will take a lot more time for your dog to get over this and master the skills or tricks you are trying to teach.
How Much Does Dog Training Typically Cost?
Dog training costs between $30 to $80 per session for basic training and about $120 per session for specialized training. Most of these sessions are 30 minutes to 1 hour long, and your dog may need 2 to 3 of these sessions depending on what they are learning.
These rates are what you can expect for basic training in staggered sessions.
For scenarios like boot camp training programs, the cost of dog training ranges from $500 to $1,250 per week. This may seem pricey at first but evens out in comparison to staggered sessions if you consider the number of hours invested in training during boot camp.