There are many reasons for teaching proper dog behavior, and teaching such behavior has many benefits for both the human and canine partners. Dog behavior training is vital to such life and death issues as preventing aggression, controlling dog on dog aggression problems and teaching dogs to interact properly with both their handlers and with other members of the family.
Understanding how dogs evolved, and how dogs interact with each other, is very important to understanding how to properly train your dog to be a devoted, loyal companion.
The original dogs were probably orphaned wolf pups adopted by early humans. These wild dogs probably learned to perform behaviors that their human protectors valued, such as guarding the cave or scaring off predators. In exchange for these valued behaviors, the humans probably provided their new companions with foods, protection and shelter.
That kind of relationship still exists today, of course, and dogs still can, and do, perform valuable jobs for their human benefactors. Those jobs include herding and guarding livestock, guarding property and people, as well as finding game.
When planning a dog training program, it is important to know that dogs are pack animals. In wild-dog societies, they form packs, and each member of the pack quickly learns his or her place in the pecking order. Except in the event of death or injury to the alpha dog, the hierarchy never changes once it has been established. The lower dogs know not to challenge the alpha dog, and the alpha dog understand their place as leader of the pack.
All the other dogs in the pack look to the alpha dog for leadership, in important survival issues like finding food and avoiding larger predators. In order to properly train your dog and gain their respect, you must become the alpha dog.
A dog that sees its owner as a superior leader will follow the owner's commands without question. Getting the respect of the dog is the most fundamentally important step to proper dog training, and it will form the basis of all subsequent training.
The reasons for training a dog properly are many, especially in today’s world. A well mannered, obedient dog is a joy to be around, both for the owner and his or her family, and for people in the community at large. In addition, seeing a well mannered dog sets people’s mind at ease.
When training dogs and dealing with unwanted dog behaviors, we must try to understand the motivating factors behind those behaviors. For example, many dogs exhibit unwanted behaviors such as chewing and destroying furniture due to separation anxiety. Dealing with the sources of problem behaviors is an important first step toward eliminating those problem behaviors.
Many dogs exhibit unwanted behaviors as a result of stress in the animal’s life, and its inability to cope with that stress. The goal of a good dog training program is to allow the dog to tolerate greater levels of stress without becoming a problem animal.
When dealing with dog behavior, one must not to confuse human behavior with dog behavior. While there is a great temptation on the part of dog owners to see their dogs as almost human, in reality, dogs and humans have very different motivations, and very different reactions to similar situations.
One trait that humans and dogs do share, however, is the need to form close social groups and strong bonds within those social groups. This bonding is important to both humans and dogs, but it has served vastly different ends as both species have evolved and changed over time.