Written by Danielle Dolce,
Master Trainer at Strong Mind K9
At Strong Mind K9 LLC, we offer on and off leash obedience right here in the low country. Obedience is our main focus for many reasons when it comes to training your pet. It is the foundation for all kinds of scenarios, ranging from training a dog in becoming a service animal to solving simple household problems. Regardless of the targeted skill set you want for your dog, obedience gives our four legged friends a job, teaches them boundaries, and gives them independence, which, in all, creates a happier companion. Here are a few key reasons why obedience is a crucial and a valuable tool in you and your dog's relationship:
1. Creates a physically AND mentally tired dog
We want our dogs to not only be physically tired but mentally tired too. During a normal day, most dogs do not get the stimulation that they need. This can cause a dog to get bored and find their own entertainment, which does not always result in good decision making. One way you can mentally stimulate your dog is by having them stop when you stop on a walk. Taking your dog on a walk is great, but it is always so much better if your dog isn't walking you.
2. Helps dogs clearly think and make better decisions
If our dogs can't clearly think, it often results in anxiety, jumping, digging, and many other destructive behaviors. When we add in mental stimulation, we see a much calmer mindset. If our dog's minds are heightened all the time will no stimulation, that's where behavioral problems can occur. Obedience helps us control our dog to fight their bad habits. One major issue I personally see is jumping or door bolting. This is where I utilize the “Come” command or the “Climb" command. We want our dogs to create better habits when the doorbell rings and extinguish the anticipation of their bad habit.
3. Confidence building
Oftentimes I will work with dogs who are very fearful or timid. It is fascinating how teaching dogs obedience in foundation work can help them overcome their fears when we do behavior modification. In situations that may cause a dog to be fearful, being in control and calmly communicating with our dogs can help create a better experience for them. We can also encourage them in tough situations to build trust. The more positive experiences that your dog has, the stronger your dog's mind will be.
4. Creates a way to clearly communicate with your dog
When we communicate with our dogs, we want it to be clear and fair to them. Dogs don't think or communicate the same way that we do. If we teach them obedience and use Motivation, Timing, and Consistency (see in our blog "How to Clearly Communicate with your Dog" - also in Lowcountry Dog Magazine – Fall 2016 Issue), we are able to clearly and fairly communicate in a smoother and more satisfying way.
Strong Mind K9 wants you to have the utmost success with training! We believe the bond, trust, and level of communication are so important in your relationship with your dog. What kind of goals do you have with your dog? Check us out and sign up for a free, in-home evaluation.