Even when there are no behavioral issues.

Most Americans don’t hire a dog trainer until things have gotten out of hand with their dogs. Unfortunately, this makes things harder in the long run because it’s far easier to prevent a problem than it is to fix one.

Two dogs standing on patio behind a pet gate looking through the door.
@stormtheaussheperd

In fact, studies show that using a dog trainer and/or attending puppy classes can help puppies stay in their homes and are more trainable as adults.

Why you should use a dog trainer when your dog is just a puppy or a newly adopted adult? Because it can help you with the following:

  • Better understand dog body language and warning signs that your dog is uncomfortable
  • Basic training methods to get your dog to do what you’d like
  • Common tips and tricks for preventing problem behaviors
Puppy crawling through a small pet door in a pet pen.
@puppyintraining

Plus, a well-run training class will introduce you to positive reinforcement based methods that teach your dog quickly and kindly. You and your dog will learn how to work in distracting environments, and you will have fun while doing so!

Positive reinforcement based training helps build your bond with your dog. Understanding basic body language will also help you recognize when your dog needs more space from something that’s upsetting him. I specifically emphasize positive reinforcement dog training because training based on e-collars, collar pops, taps on the butt, or firm voice tones can certainly lead to obedience – but they also can lead to your dog feeling more tense and insecure when with you or near things that upset him. This isn’t just my opinion – researchers have come to the same conclusions

Two husky puppies standing on a tan pet cot looking at the camera.
@canadianhusketeers

Missing out on a training class might mean you’re rustier on reading dog body language, which can ultimately lead to your dog feeling the need to bark, growl, or even bite when he’s uncomfortable because you missed warning signs. This sounds hyperbolic, but I see it all the time in my dog training business.

Common behavior issues like barking at the door, growling over a food bowl, lunging at other dogs on leash, jumping on guests, or barking when left alone can all be prevented using the skills you learn in dog training class. Don’t wait until the problem is unbearable to get help. Training often takes time, so waiting till you’re at your wit’s end is waiting far too long!

Find more training tips for your pet here.

Author

Kayla Fratt is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant from Colorado. She has spent most of her adult life training troublesome dogs in shelters, private settings, and online. She owns Journey Dog Training, an online pet behavior help service that focuses on helping people around the world with their pets. Kayla loves working with tricky dogs almost as much as she loves hiking, running, and skiing with her Border Collie, Barley. You can learn more about Kayla and explore her training programs at JourneyDogTraining.com or by following Journey Dog Training on YouTube and Facebook.

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