As a dog, I must say I think we are just perfect and that people are lucky that we are around. However, sometimes to help us fit into human society we have to have some training. Why bother? And how do we know if the trainer and the training is right for us?
Archie and Agatha have described their recent experiences with dog training and their efforts to keep the trainer from coming back. Since my person is a dog trainer, I think that I can share my thoughts on training. There are many different ways to train dogs, some good and some bad. Barbara always says that training is something you do with your dog, not to your dog. I agree with this. We do reward based, positive training (which is the only kind I am interested in) and it has made me even more bonded to her.
Training stimulates my mind, I get to go interesting and fun places and I get lots of rewards. Dogs who don't behave well stay home because their people are embarrassed to take them anywhere.
Dogs that are trained get to do fun dog sports like tracking, agility or freestyle.
Sky and Shari practicing their freestyle moves.
The Drill Team performing.
They can learn lots of tricks and show them off. Royal is learning to play the piano.
I am learning to leap.
All around training makes me a better dog (and I was pretty good to start with).
Now training is as much about training your person as it is about you. Barbara says that if she just had to train us dogs her job would be very easy! But the whole point of training is to make you a good team so you and your person can communicate and work together.
If you need some training it is important to find the right trainer who will train you in a way that you will enjoy learning and help your people to be consistent with you. They can start by checking out the trainer search at the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. The APDT advocates dog friendly, reward based training and helps trainers get education on the best ways to train. You can also check out the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers whose members have taken a national exam to show that they know how to train.
Your people should check the trainer's references, or if it is for a group class, they should attend a class without you to see what methods are used. Training should be fun and humane. Training should never, ever cause you fear or pain.
Will training make you tired? Sometimes. When I have been working very hard on a new skill or trick I need a little nap when I get home since my brain got stretched. Training should not make you afraid of the trainer. I love to train (and I have been doing it since I was a pup), learn new things and have fun with my person while I do it. You can check out her website for more info on training. Have fun and get lots of treats.