How much training does my dog need? There are basic skills every dog needs for their own safety and well-being, such as learning commands. Some dogs, though, get additional training based on their breed, on the abilities desired by their owners, or on keeping a dog challenged. Some dogs also have jobs, like working in a K9 Unit for the police, that require them to have master-level skills.
The big question, though, is how much training does my dog actually need? Your knowledgeable team at Union Lake Pet Services can help you answer the question.
Basic Obedience Training
Ideally, a puppy receives basic training. This includes housetraining and essential commands, such as “stay”, “sit”, “come”, and “drop it”. Without these important skills, your pet will not have the tools it takes to be a good pup at home or out in the world.
Training covers basic commands, but other important skills, including:
- Crate training
- Leash training
- Socialization skills (how to interact with other animals and people)
- Housetraining (potty training, how to use the dog door, rules of the house)
- Behavior diversion (teaching not to chew, dig, bark excessively, resource guard, etc.)
There are many things to learn in a dog’s life, and the complexity of what is needed can be a combination of an owner’s desires as well as each dog’s innate ability to learn. Some dogs are more adaptable to training, and they are pretty much off on the right paw. Other dogs are a little more…Let’s just say, “doggy”, and need additional training to cover problem behaviors.
Each dog is different, but most dogs do well with positive rewards-based training, such as what you would receive at Union Lake Pet Services. Positive reinforcement training means providing a reward in response to the behavior you’re trying to achieve. It is the most recommended training method.
Additional Dog Training
Dogs who aren’t often asked to respond to commands may need to refresh and sharpen their obedience skills from time to time.
Agility Training, Trick or Stunt Dog Training
Many dogs enjoy the fun and challenge of agility training where they learn to navigate an agility course. There are basic and advanced classes and dogs also have the option to go on to compete. Trick training presents a fun challenge for pets and their owners. Stunt Dog training builds on existing trick training. Dogs learn to do tricks at a distance and can then go on to compete in AKC ring trials.
Training for Anxious or Reactive Dogs, or Dogs with Behavior Issues
Dogs that are anxious or reactive need training to gain confidence and new ways of responding when encountering things in daily life that generate frustration or anxiety. Other dogs with behavioral issues can use the help of counter-conditioning, desensitization, and positive reinforcement to overcome those behavioral difficulties.
Advanced Dog Training
After a pet successfully completes basic training techniques, you may both enjoy the challenge of more advanced training. There are many forms of advanced training, and the number of skills you can teach your pet seems limitless.
Pet owners who enjoy the great outdoors often like to teach their pets off-leash skills. This is for the dog who is responsive to most verbal commands and has been successfully leashed trained.
This form of training uses a long leash, up to 25 feet long, to work with the dog at a distance, teaching verbal commands. This is a good form of training whenever you need to call your pet to you, such as at a dog park.
Along with distance training, teaching your pet hand signals can be helpful when you need to get them to respond, but you are too far away from them to use verbal commands. Teaching various hand signals in lieu of verbal commands is another challenging task for the dog who is ready for additional skills.
Other advanced dog training includes vocational training (for a specific job) and agility training.
How Much Training Does My Dog Need?
So, how much training does my dog need? The answer to this question comes down to the individual dog and how much time and money the owner wants to commit. Most dogs do well with basic training. Being pushed beyond those skills may trigger anxiety for some dogs. Other dogs will relish the new challenge. If your pet masters the basics, and you have the motivation or need for additional skills, advanced training can be a great way to form a stronger bond with your pet.
If you would like information on our training and socialization classes, please do not hesitate to call. We offer an extensive list of training classes as well as private drop-off and in-home training.