As a trusted Raleigh dog veterinarian, here at Leesville Animal Hospital, we often tout the benefits of training to new dog parents. We even have to remind veteran dog parents of the importance of training once in a while! So today we’re sharing a wonderful infographic to remind all of you dog parents to stay on top of that training!
Raleigh Dog Veterinarian Shares the Importance of Training Your Dog!
Have you ever wondered what happens in your dog’s brain when you are training them? Today here at the Leesville Animal Hospital blog we are going to take a look at a great infographic that teaches us more about what happens to our dogs when we work with them on training.
Raleigh Dog Veterinarian Shares Some of the Benefits of Training Your Dog
Did you know that training stimulates the pleasure center of your dog’s brain? According to researchers, when you work with your dog on training, it stimulates their brain to release oxytocin (a chemical related with feelings of pleasure) and it decreases levels of cortisol (a chemical related to stress)!
There are plenty more great benefits to training your dog though, both for you and them!
- Training improves your dog’s ability to read body language which forges a better line of communication between the two of you.
- Since training stimulates a reduction in stress hormones and an increase in feelings of pleasure, it helps your dog to build a positive association with you!
- Training helps your dog to better understand what is expected of them even when they don’t “speak” your language!
- Training helps your dog to be less anxious because you are teaching them how to respond to certain situations.
- Training creates a better-behaved dog which makes your dog a great ambassador for dogs everywhere!
- Parenting a well-trained dog is MUCH less stressful for you! You don’t spend half of your day chasing your dog around trying to get them to “drop it”, you don’t struggle with tugging on the leash, you don’t have to apologize for your dog jumping in public…
Raleigh Dog Veterinarian Shares Why Training is Important to Your Dog
We’ve touched on the physical changes that take place in your dog’s brain when you engage in training. We’ve talked about the benefits of training when it comes to helping your dog understand the world around them. We’ve also talked about the benefits of training when it comes to setting a good example as a dog parent, but we’ve overlooked one of the most important benefits of training your dog – stimulation!
Our dogs are intelligent creatures and many of the breeds we own today were developed to perform specific jobs. With more of us keeping these breeds as pets, it’s up to us to ensure that they receive the mental and intellectual stimulation that they need in order to be happy without performing the job that they were bred to do! In addition to taking part in sporting activities and socializing through our Raleigh doggy daycare, one of the best ways to provide this stimulation is through training.
What happens when we don’t give our dogs the chance to “work”?
When we don’t provide an outlet for our dogs to exercise their mental muscles and natural instincts, they find a way to do it for themselves! This can mean destroying things in your home out of boredom, chewing at their fur or chasing their tail, depression, anxiety, and a whole host of other problems!
As our dog’s guardian, it’s our job to provide the nourishment they need psychologically as well as physically and this means dedicating time to training!
Raleigh Dog Veterinarian Explains Training Options
When we talk about training dogs, most people think of puppy classes and that’s about as far as they think. Did you know, though, that training is a lifelong process for your dog? No, that doesn’t mean that you have to go to formal training classes with your dog for the rest of their life, but it does mean that you should always integrate training and learning into their daily life.
Some of our favorite ways to provide your dog with the training they crave include:
- Taking part in advanced obedience classes – Obedience and training don’t stop at puppy classes! There are many advanced obedience and training classes available locally, look into a few of them and see if there is one that sounds right for you and your dog!
- Pursuing Canine Good Citizen certification with your dog – CGC is a great way to challenge your pup while also ensuring that your dog is well behaved when you venture out in public!
- Looking into shy dog classes if your dog has anxiety problems – This doesn’t just challenge your dog but it also helps them to become a better adjusted and healthier, happier dog too!
- Taking part in dog sports like agility – Working dog breeds like border collies in particular excel in dog sports and they’re the perfect way to stimulate a dog with never-ending energy!
- Incorporating commands into your daily walks – Have your dog sit at each curb, try working on “left” and “right” commands, etc.
- Encouraging your dog to forage for or “work” for their food or treats. You can even invest in interactive feeding toys, slow feeding bowls, or snuffle mats!
- Teach your dog tricks that are fun for you both! – We have a client who taught her Labrador to play “warmer” and “colder” searching games indoors on rainy days!
Remember, training your dog doesn’t have to be boring, plus, if you dedicate a little more time to working with your dog on their training, you’ll soon find that your bond with them only strengthens!
Raleigh Dog Veterinarian Encourages You to Ask Questions!
It’s not uncommon for dog parents to be embarrassed to admit when their dog has a behavioral problem. Here at Leesville Animal Hospital, we want you to know that behavioral problems in dogs aren’t the end of the world and they aren’t all that uncommon! What is important is that you are ready to admit that there is a problem and to do what it takes to fix it!
Have questions about your dog’s behavior or about training? Give us a call at (919)870-7000 and make an appointment with one of our three Raleigh veterinarians today!