Most dog owners are aware of the necessity and advantages of training a puppy, but don’t realise how valuable on-going training can be. Just as walks and runs are important for physical exercise, training provides mental stimulation for your dog, which helps prevent boredom. Ongoing training is vital to refresh and reinforce trained behaviour.
Whilst obedience training, often incorporating check-chains, has traditionally been popular in Australia, more recently a newer style of positive reinforcement training (or reward-based training) for pet dogs is being utilised. Pet dog training incorporates behaviours that are important to the dog and owner in everyday life. In pet dog training, the emphasis is on having a well-mannered pet in a range of situations.
Dog training classes are popular, as they provide education in a sociable environment for dog and owner. Some classes incorporate a “free play” session into the class, so your dog can enjoy interacting with other dogs, while the owners take a moment to chat and swap hints and tips.
Formal dog training can be run by either a private training business or by a community dog club, and may be either one-on-one or a class situation. You can also train your pet yourself in a far less formal manner, using a book or other reference to guide you when teaching new skills. You can then incorporate training into a walk or other daily routines as well.
Research has proven that training improves dog sociability and may have significant implications for dog owners through reducing problem behaviours. Training may also have significant benefits for dogs, whose welfare is likely to be considerably improved if they are sufficiently well mannered and sociable to engage in shared activities with their owners. All very good reasons to make the effort to train your best friend.
And don’t forget you can also train your dog (or cat) to do tricks. Trick training can provide a huge amount of mental stimulation for pets, and serves to reinforce obedience and discipline at the same time. There are a range of qualified dog trainers operating in Australia. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) Australia provides continuing education for trainers and those involved with dogs to develop and exchange ideas regarding pet dog training and behaviour. Canine Good Citizen Instructors are qualified behavioural trainers accredited by Delta Society Australia.