The benefits of dog training extend to both the owner and the animal engaged in the training. A body of evidence suggests that dogs that are properly trained are happier than those that are not trained because trained dogs know boundaries and what to expect each day. Dog trainers and animal experts routinely point to lack of structure in a dog’s life as the main reasons why pets engage in poor behavior or develop unsavory dispositions. Dogs that exhibit improper behavior may be classified as troubled and are more likely to end up in shelters or rescues.
Proper training can remove many of the challenges owners and pets face together. Dogs are not only intelligent animals, but also social ones. Dogs come from a well-established lineage of pack animals. Like their close cousins, the wolves, dogs inherently fit into a social order within a pack. Without parameters, dogs can be unstable, confused and always in conflict.
Pet owners who establish themselves as the pack leader and provide consistent instruction and control can improve their dogs’ lives. Pet owners can make decisions for their dogs while making sure they, and not the dogs, are the ones in control.
Eat first, win games of tug of war, provide correction when the rules aren’t followed, and move the dog out of the way if you need to get by. Establishing dominance should not be mistaken for cruelty. All in all, training and obedience will strengthen the bond between pet and owner. And the more reliable and trustworthy the dog’s behavior, the greater freedom he or she can be given, which can lead to a happier life.