Dog Basics and Training

Basics

Dogs come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and personalities because each breed was developed for a purpose. Even within breeds (and crossbreeds), every dog is different and has its own unique requirements for care. Before getting a dog, consider your personal lifestyle and what breed and age of dog would be the best fit. It is also important to take time to consider the time and financial commitment owning a dog entails. Owning a dog is sometimes not the best option for every college student or working adult based on their lifestyle. A dog’s lifespan spans typically from 10-15 years and it can vary based on a variety of factors.

Every dog needs food, water, and exercise. Small dogs won’t need to eat and drink as much as large dogs, simply because of the size difference. Large dogs also generally need more exercise than small dogs to stay fit and happy. This is also dependent on the breed since some are more energetic and active than others. ¬†It is important to take these facts into consideration when considering adding a dog to the family.

Training

Not every dog needs to be an obedience champion, but basic training can be the difference between a dog that chases a squirrel into traffic and a dog that turns back when its owner calls. Whether you prefer to train your dog by yourself or get help from a professional trainer, there is a lot to consider. A simple way to think about training is like this: what do you want your dog to do and how will you get it to happen? For common manners and tricks, such as sitting on command or giving high-fives, you will be able to find a variety of tutorials to teach the behavior you want.

  • Clicker Training¬†
    This one common type of positive reinforcement training. When the dog does something you like, the trainer gives a cue (often a click noise, hence the name) and a reward such as a treat or a toy. This teaches the dog that certain behaviors lead to rewards.