Love ISN’T Training
Love doesn’t solve training problems with your dog. Love isn’t training and will never teach a dog to sit, to be polite in the home, or to have impulse control.
Because love isn’t training it will not fix aggression, fear, separation anxiety, reactivity, or any other behavioral problems your dog might have.
No matter how much you love your dog, or how you express it by buying, treats, toys, chews, beds, clothing, or food for your dog, it will not change the hard fact that love isn’t training.
Your dog will still bark aggressively.
Your dog will still lack impulse control.
Your dog will still pull your arm off when you try to walk them.
Love simply can’t and doesn’t take the place of training.
In the simplest terms, we want our dogs to be not only easy to live with, but also successfully be able to do what we like to do in our lives. We don’t want them to be stressed out, fearful, or needing micromanagement or correction from us. No one wants to be a helicopter mom, and no one wants to constantly have to bend over backwards to accommodate the dog!
And while it’s true that love isn’t training, training can absolutely be a way that you show your dog love. Training done correctly is fun for everyone involved, and does double duty by educating your dog. It’s a positive experience that grows the depth of your relationship with your dog, that also opens up new possibilities and opportunities with your dog.
With training you can take your dog to new places without having to worry about them pulling or how you’re going to manage surprises, or how your dog is going to react to things in the world. They’re no longer restricted to just a yard and your home, and you can give them the freedom you’ve been wanting to share with them.
Training allows your dog to live a happier and more privileged life that they otherwise couldn’t do. It doesn’t matter how many treats or toys your dog has if they’re confined because of a lack of training or behavior problems. That life of leisure you’re trying to provide for them out of love, it’s not fixing behavior issues and might actually be creating them.
Basic Skills All Training Teaches
First and foremost, good methods of training, that is science based methods of dog training, will teach your dog that you are important and valuable to their life. Many owners unfortunately do not hold this place in the relationship with their dogs, as it’s easy to fall into more of a roommates type of situation with an untrained dog, or even worse, have a dog that pushes you around!
This isn’t a helpful place to be as I’m sure many of you might know.
Another everyday skill that training teaches is impulse control. This is an aspect of life that is critical for any dog to understand, and is what allows us to give our dogs more freedom. The dog with no impulse control isn’t capable of making the choices we need them to make when we need them to. For example, a dog who has a no impulse control and has the choice between chasing birds and coming back to you…guess what’s going to win.
Your dog also learns to look to you for guidance, instead of mindlessly reacting to things on autopilot. Believe me, it’s much nicer to have a dog who checks in with you and who actively is looking to do what you want, rather than one who doesn’t give a rat’s ass and does everything reactively.
At the very least, training helps establish these kinds of skills in your dog and can cut through a lot of the nonsense your dog might be doing daily that’s turning them into a crappy roommate. Last time I checked, that isn’t why you got a dog, nor was it on your list of goals when talking about who you want your dog to be.
Training makes life with your dog easier, more manageable, and actually turns it into a situation you can tackle. It gives you communication skills with your dog and changes the dynamic for the better. Who doesn’t want that?