You know that dog owner we've all seen -- the one flying by, being dragged around by his huge loping dog. The same one who is yelling for his dog to come to him while the dog is studiously ignoring him and running away? The very same one who is yelling at his dog for eating off counters? YOU don't want to be that dog owner, do you?
Only a well-behaved dog can be a truly integrated part of your family, and of society as a whole. This is why taking the time and effort to train your your dog is an absolute must. Having a well-behaved dog, who can be included in your various family activities, and be taken with you wherever possible, leads to a much better experience for both your dog and you.
Moreover, training your dog is an incredible bonding experience, which strengthens and enhances your relationship with your dog. The time spent training your dog is a time that will help the two of you get to know and understand each other better.
When To Start Training Your Dog:
No time is too early to start training. This applies regardless of whether you have a puppy or an adult dog. If you have a puppy, remember that puppies are smart, and they can learn a lot at a very young age. It just takes patience, understanding and a concerted effort on your part.
If you have an adult dog, also start as soon as possible. If you start training at the very beginning, the dog will learn early on what is and what is not acceptable behavior to you. Even if you've had your dog for a while, and not trained her yet, start as soon as possible - now!
Especially if you have a puppy, you must keep your training sessions to only about 5 minutes each. One of the most important things to remember is to keep it short! Remember that dogs do best with multiple, short training sessions spread throughout the day, while very long training sessions can prove to be less effective and boring.
Training Books and Courses:
When learning how to train your dog on your own, good dog training books and courses are invaluable. There are innumerable dog training books out there, so to help you sort through this, I have put together the pros and the cons of some of the best dog training books. Pick the one you like, and start training your dog right away!
Schools for Training your Dog:
Take your dog to training school. The best schools will teach you how to train your dog. I far prefer these schools to those where you just hand the dog over and they train your dog for you. Training is a bonding experience that solidifies the relationship between the dog and his owner -- and there is no substitute for this bond.