By Melanie Benware
The most important thing about having your dog trained is to choose a training curriculum that fits your life. As a trainer, I have learned that if I do not cater the training to fit the client’s lifestyle, the owner is less likely to follow through with my recommendations. What I expect from my own dog may be completely different from what you expect from yours. Decide what your goals are and try to find training that will help you reach those goals.
For example, one of your goals may be to have your dog to sleep in the bed with you, or cuddle with you on the sofa. There is nothing wrong with that unless your dog is guarding those objects or showing aggressive behavior towards you or a guest as a result of these privileges. Through Training, I would recommend that we make some changes in your dog’s routine, work on some general conformity, and as we see improvement, start giving him a little sofa time. Another of your goals may be to avoid putting your dog in a crate and to let him run loose in the house when you’re gone. That is a perfectly fine objective, but if your dog is destructive in your absence, I will recommend that he stay in a crate when you are away until we can work him past that phase.
Prior to choosing a Trainer and a program, decide as a family what the ideal “family dog” looks like to you. Write these goals down and then find the training program that can help you reach them. Training can make your dog a bigger part of your life whether you want to do agility, therapy work, hiking off leash or any wide variety of activities. The proper training program will help you and your dog be successful in living your lives together.