Training is globally seen as essential and is mandatory in the bigger cities abroad. India despite its love for animals is still a country learning how to parent its pets. Hence the need and and the scope for training is not universally understood.
Here are some reasons why training benefits both the pet and the parent:
For the pet
Training teaches the pet the right way to behave and sets boundaries so as to avoid any hazards. It builds the pet’s confidence, gives mental stimulation and prevents destructive behaviour. It also goes a long way in Improving the human and pet relationship and helps ensure safe behaviour both for the pet and those around it or also when the pet is alone. Good training establishes the hierarchy in the family and the pet’s position in it. A well behaved dog is welcome everywhere and pet training reduces unwanted incidents from an unaware pet.
If a pet has anxiety or has socialization issues, dog training can mitigate them. Any tendencies towards aggression due to stress are managed as is unruly behaviour on or off-leash which might result in incidents. Dog training establishes a routine and a way of doing things which pets take comfort in. The acceptance and adaptability when the family is not around like in a boarding is better post training. Crate training also helps which over time can become a designated place.
For the pet parent
Having a pet is an experience like no other and training Is a must for first time parents to help navigate the new experience. It helps the owner understand the pet’s behaviour and needs. Training helps give commands such that life is easier for the pet and those around it such that the parent is in the alpha dog position with the pet and hence reduces attempts to take liberties. Establishes a mutual understanding between the pet and parent
Preferred method of training
Positive reinforcement via words of encouragement, treats, pets or a favourite toy is the best way to go as there is incentive for good behaviour. Over time the dependence on treats decreases as the behaviour is ingrained.
What age should we start training
Training should start right from when the puppy comes home. There are different elements of training. Some of them are like potty training which is best started early and then some can come a few weeks after. A bit of socialization can start right away at home, though exposure to other pets should happen only when very sure that the other pet is vaccinated. However other aspects of socialization outside the home should happen once vaccinations are completed. Some puppies through the adolescent age of 8-18 months need to be resocialized as they show typical ‘teen’ behaviours.
What are the types of training
There is behavioural and obedience training. Further there is training for agility and nose work. If the dog is going to be working or contributing to society there is therapy training, dock diving, shepherding and others.
For domestic purposes behavioural and obedience training suffice. These can be started as soon as the pup is weaned or later in life as needed.
The PawPurrfect training includes training for Pet parents on
- Whether their lifestyles can accommodate a pet
- What is the kind of pet they could get, what age etc
- The family dynamics and how they need to ensure the right environment for a pet
- What to have ready before they bring the pet home
The PawPurrfect basic pet training includes two to three months (of 12 classes each month) depending on the temperament of the dog which would be the start of the training process. Depending on the puppy, some commands might need more time and would have to be focused on and hence training will need to be modified and extended. The aim is to have a well behaved and adjusted dog.
Each session is 30 odd minutes. This is due to the attention span of the pet. More results in the pet not enjoying the sessions, losing focus, getting stressed and resenting the classes.
The sessions are at home unless they need to be outside. Sessions are not coupled with walks as the pet loses focus and it hinders learning.
Let’s work towards having a pet which lives its best life which comes from discipline and awareness which comes from a well-rounded training.