As dog training becomes more popular, so do the articles, blogs, and stories about how dog training is great for the dog. Getting your pet enrolled in a positive training program such as group or even private lessons benefits your pet greatly. Your dog will learn commands such as sit, leave it, stay, and down, while increasing its confidence, and you will learn how to bond and communicate with one another. However, this is not another story about the benefits dog training has for your dog; instead, this post is about what’s in it for you. If you are not yet convinced positive dog training is for you, perhaps the following five reasons will change your mind:
- You Will Get Smarter
Getting involved in dog training entails learning a new set of skills. All these new skills require you to use your brain, and learning them has benefits that stretch far beyond the skills themselves. In fact, according to scientific research, learning a new skill improves working memory, increases verbal intelligence, and enhances language skills. Learning also causes the brain to grow larger.
- It’s an Investment in Your Mental Health
When practicing in group classes and private lessons, your brain becomes focused. When you first get involved with positive dog training , you have to focus on learning all the rules–how to cue, when to cue, how to reward, when to reward, and so on; you learn how to use your body in order to communicate with your dog; and how to manage a dog, leash, rewards and environment, all at the same time. This keeps your brain sharp and creates a healthy mind.
- It Provides a Healthy Challenge
No one is perfect on their first attempt at a new endeavor. Like everyone else, you will find yourself frustrated—more than once. Perhaps you forgot to indicate a behavior at the right time, cued your dog incorrectly, or forgot to reward a behavior. When you are learning a new set of skills and how to teach them to your dog, you are being challenged. In addition, the process of positive reinforcement in dog training helps the dog and the owner learn how to cope with frustration. Which is a good thing, in the right context: we were not meant to live our lives effortlessly without a care in the world. In dog training, you will encounter new problems, but you will learn how every problem has a solution. Instead of giving up, let your trainer help you become a better problem solver.
- You Will Meet Other Dog Lovers
Let’s face it: when we love our dogs as much as many of us do, all we want to do is post Facebook updates about them. Pretty soon, our pages are full of nothing but pictures and videos of our dogs… and pretty soon we start hearing criticism from our non-dog-owning friends about it. Getting involved in dog training, especially group classes, provides an opportunity for you to socialize with other dog people–whose phones also have more pictures of their dogs than anything else.
- You Will Be Happier
Thanks to the feel-good hormone, oxytocin, we are highly bonded with our dogs. This bond can lead to us being emotionally affected by our dog’s behavior—for better or worse. By having a well-trained dog, your feelings of embarrassment and frustration will decrease. This will leave more room to enjoy your dog, be proud of your shared accomplishments, and in turn be a happier person.