Why dog training is important
Being a good pet parent includes being a considerate neighbour as the benefit accrues to the family and the pet. It ensures that your pup is welcomed, just as it deserves to be.
Having a dog a couple of decades ago was more the realm of the really wealthy or very keen. The trend changed drastically in the last few years, with the number of pets growing at 25% annually. This means it’s mostly first time pet parents. The decision to get one can be prompted by myriad reasons. From the love of dogs to reluctantly indulging kids. Taking the effort to become dog ready is however not something which many give a thought to.
In India, when a woman gets married she marries the family. Similarly in housing colonies in India, a dog comes home to an entire society. Like it or not, everyone has an opinion and we Indians express them. Not only in words but in clear signals and actions. The onus on making things easier for neighbours lies with the family.
Let me help you visualize this. You’ve got a pet, it’s excitement central at home. The puppy’s volume levels are low at the beginning and it is largely kept at home. The neighbours come in to coo at the baby. Everyone at home enjoys the attention. The pup then discovers its voice and you start taking your dog walking too. It pees everywhere, barks excitedly at everyone and then nips at heels. The angel is now the unmanageable devil. Those who have kept away as they are not dog fans now start coming out of the shadows.
There are talks of disturbances to children’s studies, danger to older folk taking their walks, and the threat to small kids. Every disaster possible is dreamt up, exaggerated and told in the form of stories read online. The society committee gets involved, tempers go up and voices are raised. At the centre of this is a young puppy still finding itself, going through growing pains and simply wanting to be loved.
This is actually an easy to manage issue. Education being the key for all three parties involved. The pet, the parents and the neighbours. The first two are in the hands of the family. Pet training should start with the discussion before deciding to get a pet, preparing for the pet before it comes home and then finally training the pet. A well behaved dog teaches society to love it through the way it conducts itself. In the absence of a cause for complaint, there is nothing to do other than enjoying the pets in the society. We might even convert a dog wary person into a pet lover.
In India the most prefer to train the pet themselves. There are tutorials online, some being quite good. However if one definitely believes in sending their biped children to school rather than home schooling, there is merit in considering a structured dog training program. Some of this is also applicable for other involved categories of pets like cats and birds. Finally it is for us to create a world where our pets are welcomed and thrive.