Raising a healthy, happy, well-adjusted dog is important to ensure a lifetime of joy and companionship together. Training your dog creates a strong human-dog relationship based on trust, cooperation, and well-defined roles. Having a well-trained dog also helps you feel confident and comfortable in any situation, whether around kids or other dogs.
Whether you are getting your new puppy off to a good start in life, or helping your older dog learn to overcome a behavioral problem, training him creates a line of communication that serves to set boundaries that educate your dog to relate to you, other dogs and humans, and to help them become responsible members not only of your family, but of society. It sounds strange, but dogs truly are ever-increasing parts of society, especially with dog parks, doggie dates, doggie daycare, and other defined socialization opportunities.
Most people will teach their dogs the basics like sit, stay, and house-training. These are very important, crucial things that all dogs should know. But in addition to these basic things, here are three things that go beyond those basic things, but are imperative to the health and happiness of your relationship with your dog, in no particular order.
Teaching 'leave it' to your dog is valuable for many reasons. It keeps your dog safe. If you accidentally drop medicine on the floor, he will leave it alone if you tell him to. If you break a glass and tell him to 'leave it', he will walk away and not go near it. It also makes anything safe that you don't want him to destroy. Suppose he's eyeballing your slippers. Teach him 'leave it', and he will let them be.
This is extremely important, because your dog is going to be exposed to people or animals other than your family. Whether your dog is taking a walk around the neighborhood or going to the vet, he will come into contact with other humans and animals at some point. Teaching your dog how to act in these situations is essential to his well-being and safety, as well as the safety of the people or animals that he comes in contact with. If your dog is well socialized, he will greet people properly, without jumping up on them, and he will be able to meet other dogs without creating tension or possibly a fight.
Loving Their Crate
Many people have a belief that crate training your dog is inhumane. Studies have shown that this is simply not true. Dogs are derived from wolves, and wolves, in turn, live in dens. If properly trained to love their crates, dogs see them as a cozy den-like place where they can relax. Crate training helps with house training (since most dogs won't soil their beds), as well as keeps them and your stuff safe when you're not home. There are easy techniques to use to help your pup feel safe and secure in his crate. Never keep them in there for extremely long periods of time, and NEVER use the crate for punishment.
Everything that you teach your dog brings you closer together. Always teach your dog by using positive and humane training techniques. There is a plethora of books and videos to help along the way, as well as numerous professional dog trainers in every city. Every minute spent showing your dog how to live properly in this world creates a deeper bond that lasts a lifetime.