January is National Train Your Dog Month!
Did you know?
Dogs who have been to training class live richer lives, because they have fewer restrictions put on them.
They are less likely to bite when frightened or angry, especially if they were in class before 4 months old.
Trained dogs are better loved by their family, because they are included in the fun when company comes, accompany the family to the kids’ sports games, go with you to visit friends and relatives, go for hikes, swims, and everything else the family does together.
Most importantly, training has been proven to be the single most important factor that keeps a dog in his “forever home.”
And if your dog has training, that means you are on the front lines, because you know how great it can be! Help your friends and neighbors understand how much training can benefit their own lives; they may not know yet! And if you need help with this, of course your friendly neighborhood dog trainer is ready and willing! 😉
Click here to learn more about National Train Your Dog Month.
Greg Gibbs says
Joanna, do you have a reference for the ‘before 4 months old’ aspect of training? I heartily agree with this, but I have been unable to track down a source. Admittedly, I haven’t been looking too hard. . .
Yes! Here you go Greg:
“Importance of Puppy Training for Future Behavior of the Dog”
Abstract: In this study, we attempted to clarify whether puppy socialization and command training class, which was limited to puppies approximately 4 months of age, prevented behavior problems in dogs. We evaluated the behaviors of 142 dogs with 4 types of training experience by using a behavior test and the Canine Behavior Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ). Dogs in the puppy class (PC) group (n=44) attended the class for 1 hr each week for 6 weeks, dogs in the puppy party (PP) group (n=39) attended a 1-hr “puppy party,” dogs in the adult class (AC) group (n=27) undertook basic obedience lessons for adolescent/adult dogs for 1 hr each week for 6 weeks, and dogs in the no class (NC) group (n=32) underwent no formal training. The behavior test evaluated each dog’s response to commands, owner’s recall, separation, a novel stimulus, and strangers. The C-BARQ evaluated 15 canine behavioral factors. The behavior test results indicated that the PC and AC groups showed significantly higher response to commands than the PP or NC group. Thus, participation in puppy and adult classes improved the obedience behavior of dogs, regardless of age. Positive response to strangers in the PC group was significantly higher than that in the AC and NC groups and tended to be higher than that in the PP group. Therefore, PC may help prevent canine behavioral problems such as disobedience or fear of strangers.
And also here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Freedman%2C%20King%2C%20Elliot
Abstract: Litters of puppies were isolated, with the bitch, in fenced acre fields from 2 to 14 weeks of age. They were removed indoors at different ages, played with for a week, and returned to the field. The pups manifested an increasing tendency to withdraw from human beings after 5 weeks of age and unless socialization occurred before 14 weeks of age, withdrawal reactions from humans became so intense that normal relationships could not thereafter be established