Dog Training: Pro Versus
Self-Trained, Which is Best
Now that you have your new pooch, you need to train him. Yes you do,
don’t argue with me.
not a human. He doesn’t get to do whatever he wants to do. He
can’t poop where he feels like pooping. He can’t
chew up whatever he wants. He needs to be trained, for your happiness
and his. But should you do it yourself or should you have him
professionally trained? The answer really depends on how much time you
are willing to invest.
No matter the training (protection, behavior, search and rescue,
tricks), you will invest a LOT of time training your
pup…even if you have a professional do the training. If you
have a professional train your dog, you will still have to follow up
after he finishes basic training.
have to be consistent. You have
to have patience.
And you have to know what you’re doing, which is the mistake
a lot of first-time dog owners make. They equate loving a new puppy
with knowing how to take of and train a new pup. That’s where
they make their first mistake.
If you’re going to train the dog yourself, there are a few
basic commands every dog should know regardless of what type of
training you give your new best friend. If Fido knows these commands
and no other, and you work with him every day, he will be a
– this is the most important command your dog should
understand (next to, “Don’t poop
there!”). If Fido won’t come to you when called,
he’s not an obedient dog.
– Another important command is “Sit.” A
dog that will sit when commanded is under the direct control of the
– “Stay” is often used in conjunction
– All dogs need to know what it means when their master says
“Down.” “Down” is often used
for the over excitable pup who’s constantly jumping on
bed – especially as pups, dogs tend to sleep
when they want to. But if you don’t get your dog used to
sleeping when you want him to sleep, you’ll deal with the
“terrible twos” his entire life. If he knows what
“Go to bed” means, he’ll sleep when you
want him to. And if you’re smart, that will be when you go to
– “Drop it” is one of the most useful
commands for your dog to know. Dogs tend to pick up everything in their
mouths…remote controls, hats, sunglasses, little children.
If you dog understands “Drop it,” you can make him
drop your little brother whenever he’s using him as a chew
it and Take it – “Leave it”
and “Take it” are used to teach dogs to pick up
after themselves. Both are hard to teach, but very useful when you need
a beer out of the fridge.
– “Heel,” also
“Close” or “By me,” is used to
keep a dog right at the handler’s leg whether standing still
– and “Okay” is your dog’s
favorite command. Okay releases the dog from sit, stay, heel and so
forth. “Okay” is also used to release the dog from
training and lets him begin his favorite part of the
But most people want even more training for their dogs, whether it is
for protection, sport or fun. For most advanced training, especially if
you are a first-time dog owner, it’s best to let a
professional handle it.
They have the equipment, they have the know-how and they have the time.
Most advanced training, especially personal protection training,
requires spending hours upon hours with your dog on a daily basis. And
let’s face it, most of us don’t have that kind of
But just remember, no matter what kind of training you decide on,
simple behavior training, protection, search and rescue or tricks, you
will have to reinforce the training on a daily basis.
If you’re not willing to do this, you won’t be a
very happy owner…and it will be your fault. As corny as it
sounds, a well trained dog equals a happy dog.
Allen Shaw is a successful author who provides information on dogs, dog
training and puppies.