1. It’s fun. For you, and for your dog. Don’t believe me? Give it a try. There is more than just heel, sit, down, and come. Really. Challenge yourself and your dog and commit to trying to teach your dog one new fun trick. Find your keys? Bring the remote? Bring you a beer? There are 100’s of fun tricks you can teach Fido. If you don’t smile when the light bulb finally clicks and your dog “gets it” then, well, I’m sorry, but I bet at least Fido will be happy!
2. Prevent problem behaviors. A dog who knows what is expected of him, is much less likely to do the wrong things. Just by knowing a few simple commands we can show our dogs what we want them to do instead of something we don’t want them to do. For example, by teaching a reliable and rock solid down stay, many problem behaviors can be addressed. Fido can’t jump or dig or bolt out the door if he knows what down & stay is.
3. Mental stimulation. Spending 15 minutes doing a drill of obedience commands, or running through their repertoire of tricks can tire out a dog. Rainy day? Long day at work? Have to skip the walk? Then tire out Fido’s mind instead!
4. Freedom. Training gives your dog freedom and essentially, you as well. Freedom to take your dog with you out and about into the world instead of leaving him at home. Without some basic training however, it might not be fun to take Fido along. Fido needs to know how to walk nice on a leash, not bark at other dogs, sit and stay when asked, and not jump up on strangers. Otherwise a nice trip to the park with Fido can turn into a disaster.
5. Bonding time. Training time is bonding time with you and Fido. When you start to do training with him, you will notice him wanting to do what you ask more and more, rather than wanting to run away from you and play keep away when you call him to come. Fido wants to please, he just isn’t born knowing what you want, so if you teach him what you want, it will help develop a strong bond.