Why Puppy Training is Genuinely Worth the Investment
By Jason Wright
February 19, 2020
The Importance of Dog Training Cannot be Overstated
It’s important not to get bowled over by the joy and happiness a puppy brings because that new puppy smell we all love will eventually wear off. That doesn’t mean you’ll care any less about your four-legged friend when that happens, just that the novelty aspect will subside and you’ll be left with the reality of integrating your pup into the everyday life of the family.
The best way to ensure that transition is a smooth one is to enlist the services of iTK9. We’re unique in that we don’t take a cookie-cutter approach to dog training. Instead, we take the time to get to know your pooch and then tailor a training regimen to fit him or her. Here are a dozen reasons why you should invest in puppy training for your dog.
1. Because potty training won’t wait
Did you know the average puppy needs to pee every 30 to 45 minutes? In fact, the only time you’ll get a break from this elimination factory is when they’re sleeping. If you didn’t know that you’re in for a rude awakening the day you bring your new friend home. It will soon become apparent to you that if you don’t do something your home is going to take on an air of garden-fresh puppy pee that will be fairly difficult to purge later on. You can try to potty train your puppy yourself but it’s not as simple as putting down a box with some litter in it and waiting for them to do the right thing. The fact is that there are right ways and wrong ways to potty train a dog. We make sure it’s done the right way.
2. To inhibit biting
Most dogs are sweethearts who are a joy to be around the vast majority of the time. However, on occasion, things can happen that prompt your puppy to bite. Sometimes they’ll do so because they feel threatened in some way. On other occasions, a puppy will bite while playing simply because mom isn’t around to tell them not to. Which means someone else needs to pick up the training gauntlet and quickly. Because it’s crucial your best friend learns to inhibit their bite when they are still young. At iTK9 we work with your pup to instill good behaviour.
3. To deal with whining and howling
If you’ve never had a puppy before and leave it alone when you go to sleep at night you’re likely to have a hard time getting to sleep with all the whining and crying and even howling. Think about it. The puppy has already been removed from its mother and moved to an unfamiliar environment. Now, in its mind, it’s being abandoned. The whining and howling is essentially an SOS alerting anyone within earshot that there’s an abandoned puppy that needs help. The professionals at iTK9 are experts when it comes to instilling confidence in your puppy. Confidence that allows them to skip the whining and crying and rest easy even when left alone.
4. Speaking of confidence
Puppies are a lot like people in that there are folks who seem to have been born with an abundance of confidence and those that struggle with it for most of their lives. Dogs too are often born fearful and shy and in need of a confidence boost. High-quality puppy training can provide that. Keep in mind too that having a more confident, well-adjusted pup has a positive effect on the owner as well. In fact, statistics show that people are 6 times less likely to give up on a properly trained dog and return it to the shelter then they are on a dog that’s had little or no dog training.
5. To teach them to come
It’s important to train a puppy to come before they learn not to. But teaching a dog to come is not as simple as letting them play with other dogs on the beach and them commanding them to come. Dogs are pretty smart. So if you’ve let them off the leash to run free with their buddies and then suddenly call them back, what’s their incentive to come? So that they can be put back on the leash and taken away from their friends? Teaching your puppy to come needs to be done early and done right. That way everyone benefits in the long run.
6. To teach them to resist jumping on people
Dogs jump on folks with the best of intentions. Typically to say hello. But while there are some people who are fine with doggie displays of affection like this there are plenty of others who for whatever reason, want nothing to do with it. And that’s their right. Keep in mind too that when full grown dogs engage in this type of behaviour it can be dangerous to elderly folks and small children. So teaching your puppy not to jump on people is not teaching them to be unfriendly, it’s simply teaching them to respect others.
7. Because they need to accept their collar
It can be difficult to get a puppy to accept a collar and many first-time dog owners are not adept at training them to do so. But for both the short and long term sake of your dog, it’s important that they fully accept their collar. Having this crucial aspect of their training handled by a patient, conscientious pro is vital. We understand no two dogs are exactly alike and fashion our training regimen to fit your dog’s personality.
8. Because it’s crucial to get barking under control ASAP
Just like a cat meows, birds sing and the deer and the antelope play, dogs bark. What you want is for your puppy to learn to control their bark. Contrary to popular belief dogs don’t always bark because they’re upset or frightened or trying to warn their masters of impending trouble. A lot of times they bark because it’s fun. This is especially true for dogs that were never taught any form of control and are then left alone for long stretches of time. In those cases what may start out as a call for attention turns into the only type of recreational activity they’re able to engage in so yes, barking becomes a kind of fun. Training a dog not to bark takes time and patience: two things the dog lovers at iTK9 have in abundance.
9. To prevent excitement elimination
Again, contrary to a popular belief when your puppy pees at your feet when you come home it’s not because they’re saying “This is what I think about your leaving me alone all day!” On the contrary. In most cases, it’s because they are demonstrating a type of submissiveness that’s part respect and part sheer excitement. In other cases, it’s just plain relief that you’re back and a letting go of anxiety. As you may have picked up on by now anxiety is a recurring theme when it comes to puppy behaviour and puppy training. Which is one reason we seek to address your dog’s state of mind as much as any particular distressing behaviour. We understand that getting your pooch to relax will make dealing with a host of other issues easier.
10. Puppy socialization is of the utmost importance
It’s vital that your puppy be a well-rounded individual capable of co-existing with family, friends, strangers and other animals. Some dogs have a naturally laid back personality but even they need some socialization training. At iTK9 our socialization sessions are focused as much on your puppy’s state of mind as anything else. The goal is to tailor such sessions in a way that teaches them that getting along is not only the easy and right thing to do, it’s also fun and rewarding and relaxing. We don’t command your puppy to behave, we give them reasons to.
11. To save your furniture
Puppies chew stuff. Along with barking and peeing every half hour or so it’s just something they do. If you have a puppy you had better A) expect chewing and B) do something about it before it becomes a lifelong habit. Typically a puppy will chew more when it is lonely, anxious or perhaps feeling abandoned. It’s a type of nervous reaction and not something malicious or indicative of bad temperament. Thankfully your puppy can be trained not to default to chewing when they are feeling ill-at-ease. But, as is the case with most activities related to your puppy, it’s best if this particular habit is nipped in the bud as early in life as possible. The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” exists for a reason, after all. The longer you wait the more difficult it will be to get them to learn new, less destructive methods for dealing with their anxiety.
12. Mitigate Separation Anxiety
Dogs are extremely intelligent animals. They’re also some of the most emotionally sensitive animals on planet earth. When they’re left alone they are often overwhelmed with anxiety and this manifests itself in, what can seem on the surface as bad behaviour. Some will bark incessantly. Others will whine and cry, dig in the yard, leave droppings everywhere or chew the kid’s toys into oblivion. Again, though, they don’t do this to “get back” at their owners. They do it because they’re lonely and don’t understand why everyone has gone. Often we inadvertently make things worse by engaging in long goodbyes that make our buddies think we’ve come to play and hang out. And then when we abruptly leave they’re confused and frightened. Proper dog training to deal with separation anxiety is crucial if your puppy is to enjoy and happy, peaceful, well-adjusted life. After all, you can’t force an animal to be calm. But you can teach them ways to achieve a calm state of mind on their own.
Making sure your new family member gets off on the right foot will not only benefit your puppy, but it will also benefit everyone that comes in contact with your dog for the duration of his or her life, every other dog that comes in contact with them and, of course, you. Our dog training services leverage best practices, years of experience and an innovative approach that puts your dog’s emotional well-being front and center over more narrow-minded concerns about rigid obedience. We’re not here to punish your dog for “behaving badly”. We’re here to figure out what makes him or her tick and then apply all our expertise to the task of helping them adjust to life in their new home without their litter-mates. We’re not beholden to one approach and we welcome those in need of every level of puppy training.