Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Discipline is Undervalued

Would most sane people with children wait until the kid was 15 yrs old to START teaching them what to do, right from wrong, etc? No. I realize (and often see) many exceptions to this rule in my exam room however (of the human and canine variety)!

Well, this applies to our pets too. They are also NOT born knowing how to behave and what to do. I strongly recommend obedience training to people with dogs of all sizes and breeds.

Dogs will not KNOW what to do and when to do it. 
As a great trainer once told me, the most important word they will learn is "no." It can literally save their life. 

Obedience training is more for us, as pet owners, than the dogs. I can personally attest to this fact. Yes, I have a small dog. Yes, I am trained veterinary medical professional. My dog would not be the wonderful well behaved pet he is, however, without training. I got trained by a wonderful man who is no longer with us, however, I urge all pet owners to seek out a trainer that fits with their philosophy and with whom they feel comfortable. 

There are different methods of training. There is not ONE right fit for anybody. Training your dog to listen to and focus on you makes them a better companion. You can take them ANYWHERE and they will behave. I love when people say "oh but he's so good at home." Meanwhile, he's trying to bite your face off or jump all over you so you can't examine him at all.

Training is best done when pet and owner are together. Sending your dog off to be trained is great - IF you are going to live with the trainer. YOU need to know how to handle the dog too. AND training is something that needs to be reinforced time and again over the days and years of the pet's life. Like human children, they will get distracted or push that envelope.

Wouldn't it be nicer if you didn't have to scream at your dog all the time? If you could walk off leash with them and KNOW they would heel by your side? If you could be across the room or the street and simply say "no" in a firm voice and they would avoid danger?

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