Marissa Corbett of Shamong, NJ is an entrepreneur and professional dog trainer who is dedicated to helping pet owners train their dogs to be a happy, polite, friendly, family friend. In the following article, Marissa Corbett discusses why training a dog is an important aspect of pet ownership, and how proper exercise and socialization creates a happy, healthy dog.
Training, socialization, and exercise are paramount in ensuring a friendly, and confident dog. It helps to stimulate their brains, as well as provides physical and emotional enrichment that can help them cope with household changes. With the right guidance, dogs can lead long and fulfilling lives.
Marissa Corbett discusses more below about how to ensure every dog has the right routine and regimen when it comes to socialization, training, and exercise.
Many people mistakenly believe that socializing their dogs means just getting them used to being in the company of other canines. Although this is important, it is not the sole factor that should be considered when raising a well-socialized dog.
Introducing new environments, new people, and new animals should also be part of the socialization process. Marissa Corbett also explains that this can help them cope when left with a dogsitter or to be able to adjust to the addition of any new pets in the home, such as cats or other small animals.
Introducing dogs to children is also beneficial, especially for dogs who may have enjoyed all of the attention before a new bundle of joy has come along. It also helps them to deal with the noise and activity of kids running around, which can be unpredictable and stressful for dogs who are not used to the movements of little humans.
Making sure a dog gets as many experiences as possible to socialize in a safe and controlled way helps to build a mild temperament and resilience to changes within their environment.
An old dog can in fact learn new tricks – training provides a great bonding experience between dog and owner but also helps to reinforce boundaries and hierarchies within the family.
Marissa Corbett of Shamong, NJ suggests that training should initially start with basic and essential commands that reinforce safe behaviors. These include:
The command “sit” is one of the earliest commands people teach their dogs. Getting a dog to sit means it is still, less likely to run or jump, which also means that owners can grab their dog’s attention much easier. This can also help to keep the dog safe, such as when waiting to cross a road.
“Sit” is also a command that links in with other instructions, such as “lie down”, “wait”, and a dog giving their paw for treats.
“Down”, or “lie down” is a natural progression from “sit” and can be used to help a dog to relax. By making “down” times safe and rewarding, the dog learns to be able to calm and enjoy being still.
“Stay” instructs a dog to stay in place, usually in a sitting position. This can be used to help a dog to pause, either for their owner, for their food, or for an activity. The dog can then be given a release word to let them know when they are free to go.
Marissa Corbett says that recall is important for all dogs to learn, especially as it helps their owners to keep them safe. The “come” command is essential for off-leash activities, ensuring that owners can keep their dogs away from danger and also get them back when the walk is over!
All dogs, no matter their age or breed need some form of exercise. However, it is important to note that alongside a walk or run in the park that other faculties are exercised too!
• Sensory Stimulation
Marissa Corbett explains that pet owners may have noticed that their dog spends a long time sniffing at certain things when on their walks, especially if another dog has been there. This is one of the ways in which dogs communicate with each other.
Even if there is no trace of another dog’s presence, a dog’s sense of smell is 100,000 times stronger than a human’s. Therefore, they can pick up all sorts of olfactory information that their owners don’t even know is there.
Using their noses in this way is not only enriching, but can also be tiring, helping dogs to be able to rest easier at home.
• Physical Exercise
Walks and play are important for dogs, not only to keep them in peak physical health, but also to ensure that they are able to expend their energy.
Marissa Corbett says that this is especially true in younger dogs or working breeds, who may become destructive if they are not given the exercise that they need. They will always work it off in other ways, even if it means destroying their owner’s couch!
• Mental Stimulation
Dogs are incredibly inquisitive, and some breeds, such as working dogs like Border Collies or terriers such as a Jack Russell, need activities that allow them to use their brains to be truly fulfilled.
This could include puzzle toys, activities such as heelwork and agility, or even just making them work for their food.
Mental stimulation helps to reduce stress and boredom which can often lead to destructive situations.
It is vital to understand the importance of proper training, exercise, and socialization for dogs as these elements are critical to ensuring that our furry friends are healthy, happy, and well-behaved members of our families and communities.
With the right approach, pet owners can help their dogs develop the necessary skills to thrive in any environment and build strong, lasting relationships with their human companions. By prioritizing their physical and emotional well-being, we can create a brighter future for our dogs and ourselves. So, let’s commit to giving our canine companions the care and attention they deserve, and enjoy the many benefits of a happy, healthy dog.