Five Reasons Why Training your Puppy/Dog is so Important!

By Mel Ritterman

Hi Dogshare community! As this is my first article for Dogshare, I thought I’d introduce myself quickly… My names Mel. I am a dog trainer with a Psychology background. I am a mum of three little human kids and a mum to my gorgeous fur-baby, Cooper, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever. I am passionate about learning, especially about all things related to behaviour. It’s really fascinating how the world of animal behaviour is SO relatable to our kids too! I’m a big advocate for positive reinforcement training and will use this as my foundation for all the hints and tips that I will provide you all along the way.

Mel Ritterman from Cooper & Kids

 We train dogs for a variety of reasons, I am going to share with you my top five reasons you should train your dog/puppy.

1. Turn your puppy into a happy, well rounded and confident dog!

One of the most important things you can do to help your puppy grow up to be a friendly confident dog is to socialize them from as young as possible. This means, giving your pup careful and positive exposure to all things they might encounter as an adult dog. To teach your dog to be more aware of their surroundings and to feel comfortable. If you don’t teach a dog these things when they are young, they can potentially become fearful or anxious later in life and may even show signs of aggression towards other dogs or people. So, the more time you invest teaching your dog to live successfully in a human world the more you will avoid problem behaviours that come from lack of understanding. 

Finding a good puppy class or basic obedience class is a great start for this, not only will it give you knowledge into the world of dog training, but it’s also a great way to start the socialisation process with your dog. A well socialised dog also means you will be able get out and about more together. Being able to include your dog in your daily activities will make you all happier and give your dog a more enriched life.


2. Create and strengthen the bond between you and your dog

Training your dog builds up a language of communication between you and your dog that promotes security and comfort. Positive reinforcement training, which rewards and motivates a dog for good behaviour, allows you to foster a relationship with your dog based on mutual trust and respect. The theory of being a Pack leader or being dominant over our dogs has been debunked by science (we will go into more detail on this in a later post). So ultimately, you want to form a partnership with your dog and positive training is a great way to get started on your journey to forming this special relationship.  


3. Teaching your dog basic obedience is SO important for everyone’s safety

Teaching your dog to come when called could literally save their life. i.e. if they are running off towards a busy road. Teaching your dog to “leave it” if you see a snake, a puffer fish, snail bate, chocolate, or any other thing that might be potentially poisonous or dangerous for your dog. A well-trained dog, under supervision, is also safer to have around family and friends. Basic training is also important for the safety of other people and importantly for kids if you’re raising a puppy in home full of children.


4. Reduce problem behaviours

This is an obvious one – of course people turn to dog training once a problem has already arisen. We need to remember from the start that there is more to a dog’s well-being than physical health, your dog’s behaviour will ultimately influence the quality of life for everyone in the family for years to come. So, wanting to reduce any problem behaviours is only natural. Problem behaviours develop because somewhere along the way, they have been reinforced. For example, a dog owner may not understand why their fully-grown dog is jumping up when they walk in the door. Little did they realise, that when this dog was an adorable tiny puppy, they were most likely (without even realising it) positively reinforcing this behaviour with love and affection. With my future posts, I hope that I will stress to you guys how important it is to get on top of positive reinforcement training as early on as possible to help set you and your dog up for a successful and rewarding life together.


5. Training should be fun and a great way to keep your dog mentally stimulated

Training should be fun for both you and your dog. Whether you are training at home or have joined a puppy/obedience class, the exercises you do should be fun and engaging. Enjoy it and don’t take it too seriously. As soon as you or your dog starts to get frustrated, stop your training session and try again the next day.

Training your dog is important for both you and your dog. The effort you put in early on will be rewarded with a well-balanced and happy dog. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch. 

Mel Ritterman is a qualified dog trainer and mum-of-three. You can find more information about Mel on her website Cooper and Kids, or follow her on Instagram or Facebook. 

Disclaimer: Dogshare and Mel Ritterman will not be liable for anything that happens to you or your dog by following our advice and tips. If you have real concerns or worries about your dog, please seek out a professional vet or behaviourist to come and assess the situation.