With spring well on its way, everyone—human and animal alike—is looking to get outdoors and play. After being cooped up all winter, the sunshine and warm weather are irresistible. It’s only natural that you want to take your puppy out for a run or a game of fetch at the local dog park.

Without proper obedience training though, your day in the sun can quickly turn into a power struggle between you and your pooch.

An invaluable investment in your relationship with your dog

Proper obedience training for your puppy (and you) is an invaluable investment in the health and well being of your pet, as well as the relationship the two of you share. Without the fundamental ground rules for behavior that obedience training sets, the potential for disaster and disappointment is high. This can lead to frustration, accidents and injury, or worse.

Many dog owners don’t understand that obedience training can offer their pet more than the simple commands of, “sit, stay, and good dog.” Proper obedience training is the context for the entirety of the relationship that you and your dog share.

Dogs crave hierarchy and structure

As pack animals, dogs crave the security a pack breeds and seek that same structure from you and your family. If that structure is not provided, with you as the pack’s Alpha, your dog may become destructive, defiant, and even aggressive.

By establishing the hierarchy of the family pack, your puppy learns what is expected of him or her, as well as the rewards or consequences of those behaviors. Eventually, as training progresses, your dog will find more opportunities to please you. This ultimately pleases you as well, as your pup is truly learning how to be a “good dog” for you and your family–and knows it.

Teaching them to become a good doggie citizen

Equally important to knowing their place in the pack, proper obedience training teaches your dog how to be a good citizen and remain safe in the human world.

To some extent, becoming a good citizen is an extension of pleasing you. When a dog knows his or her place, he or she is less nervous in new or chaotic situations and is more confident with regard to expected behavior. This means less jumping, barking, and running amok while you scold and scramble after your errant pooch.

Safety through training

When it comes to safety, proper obedience training is key. If your puppy is incapable of obeying simple commands, or does not respect your authority as Alpha, how is he or she going to know when listening to you is the difference between life and death?

Training teaches your puppy that “no means no,” when it comes to chewing on your Dansko’s. It will also keep them from chewing electrical cords, rooting through the trash and ingesting toxins, and running into the middle of the road in rush-hour traffic. They won’t bolt into the middle of a dogfight, or take a bite out of the neighbor’s kid when they try to take the wrong toy from your yard.

All dogs want to be good dogs, but without proper training the odds of your dog’s success both within your family and in the world shrink exponentially. Among all of the considerations around the adoption or purchase of a new puppy, be sure to invest in proper training.

If you are interested in learning more about puppy training at Elmhurst Animal Care Center, please contact our Head Trainer Tom Schukay at 630-674-3647. Elmhurst Animal Hospital is the ideal fit for all of your new puppy’s needs (for older dogs don’t forget to ask about our Boarding School and Private Training options)!