Pet owners, while watching their dogs play, sometimes pass along dog training tips to one another. Many delight in sharing stories (even horror stories) of the trials and tribulations of teaching their dogs basic obedience and manners. While it's fun to share a laugh, professional trainers can be a great source of dog training tips, tips that can be sucessfully used with most dogs.
It can be tempting to believe that dog obedience isn't really "necessary", particularly for those people with small dogs. But dog training classes can help owners to further develop a bond with their pets as well as teaching dogs commands that will help to keep him safe. The use of positive reinforcement dog training helps to make the training process fun and enjoyable for both the dog and the trainer.
All dogs, regardless of size, need to be taught basic obedience and acceptable manners - for their own safety as well as the safety of other dogs and people. It's not "cute" (except possibly to the owner) when a small dog is allowed to engage in behavior that would be considered unacceptable in a larger dog.
What do we mean by "safe"? Let's pretend that your dog is happily romping with a bunch of his canine pals at the local dog park. A cyclist comes straight towards the middle of park at a very high speed. You scream, "Fido - Stay!" at the top of your lungs. Your dog freezes in his tracks and the cylist passes by without incident.
Now what happens if Fido doesn't listen to you, or doesn't know the command? One wrong move and there could be a nasty collision between the cyclist and your dog.
Dog training isn't just about obedience, of course. Good manners are always useful - not that you wouldn't let your dog just be a dog, too! -- but when you're in your own house or someone else's, or you're traveling with your dog, it's much less stressful to know that he'll conduct himself appropriately.
There are many things a dog can learn. For example, some people will boundary train their dogs - useful for areas in which fences aren't allowed. Even special-needs dogs can be trained! For instance, training a blind dog requires a different approach but is just as important for keeping the dog safe.
For people worried about adopting an adult dog because they might not be as 'trainable' as a puppy - don't worry! Adult dogs usually have a much better attention span and learn quickly. Even housebreaking adult dogs can go much more smoothly and quickly than trying to train a puppy! (Just an interesting side note: did you know that dogs can be trained to use litter boxes?!)
Training is one of the important responsibilities of being a dog owner. Your dog doesn't have to be an obedience champion, but knowledge of basic commands can help to keep him safe... plus make him a better pet! Find a dog obedience group of school that you're comfortable with, or find a dog trainer who can work with you and your dog privately. There are many positive dog training tips and methods available - choose those that work best with your dog's unique personality.