Training is important for all dogs regardless of breed, age, and the role your pet will have in your family. Ideally, training begins the moment you meet your new dog with a plan in place. Consistency is paramount to your success.
Consider the following:
- Where do you want your dog to sleep? Eat? Potty?
- What commands do you want your dog to know?
- What behaviors do you want to avoid? What is acceptable to you and your family? (e.g. Is the dog allowed on your bed? In the dining room when you are eating?)
- Does the dog already have behavioral problems you want to address? (e.g. inappropriate eliminations, aggression towards dogs or people, inappropriate barking, etc.)
- Do you have a specific job you want or need your dog to do, such as functioning as a therapy pet or a hiking companion?
- Does your dog need to obey certain rules for your living situation (e.g. not barking due to noise restrictions for an apartment)?
The answers to these questions will help guide the type of training you pursue and who you choose to coach you on your way.
We strongly recommend that you enlist the help of a professional dog trainer, even if just for a short time, to help put a training plan in place and help train YOU to be consistent with your dog. Remember that there isn’t one right way and dog behavior is complex, so even an experienced dog owner can find themselves in a pickle! There are hundreds, if not thousands, of dog trainers in the Puget Sound area. Make sure to choose one that has experience and training that will enable them to keep you and your dog safe and happy, and ultimately lead you on the path to meeting your training goals. Before hiring any trainer, be sure to “interview” them to make sure their skills and your needs are a good match and that their training methods are feasible for your household.