Training your dog could mean the difference between life and death for your pet according to PDSA, Britain's leading veterinary charity.
Teaching your dog to obey commands such as heel, leave or drop, will not only help your dog to maintain the required standards of behaviour in public, but these commands may also save its life. For example, signalling to your dog to leave potentially dangerous items such as a small bouncy ball or a glass bottle, could help to prevent serious injury. Small rubber balls can be accidentally swallowed, obstructing a dog's airway and causing suffocation and glass bottles, can break inside the mouth resulting in serious cuts.
These are just two examples of why training your dog is so important, but there are many other reasons for carrying out a comprehensive training programme. Training a dog helps to prevent in-appropriate behaviour, such as rough playing, aggression, stealing and destructive chewing. An untrained dog can ultimately be a danger to itself, the owner and members of the public.
PDSA advises owners to use positive techniques when training their dog, rewarding them for good behaviour with treats or extra attention.
As part of its Responsible Pet Care initiative, PDSA, has launched a Dog Training leaflet with useful advice and tips on training your dog.
PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Elaine Pendlebury, comments: ‘Dog training is an important part of responsible pet care and is a great way of reinforcing the bond between an owner and their dog. With the lighter nights now upon us, more and more people are venturing out for evening strolls with their dogs, which means good behaviour is very important.
‘Some dogs can easily become distracted by other dogs, traffic or people when out walking, so knowing that you have complete control of your dog should it run off or pick up something it shouldn't is essential.’
PDSA recommends using a combination of voice and hand signals and its Dog Training leaflet offers guidance on the most useful commands and effective training techniques.
Elaine continues: ‘Many people like to train their dog themselves, but some may wish to attend dog training classes. If so, I would advise them to speak to their vet who may be able to recommend a local dog trainer and offer advice on the type of class that would best suit their dog.
‘Whatever training process a dog owner chooses, it is important to remember that a well trained dog is a pleasure to be with.’
The Dog Training leaflet forms part of a larger range of Responsible Pet Care leaflets produced by PDSA. These leaflets cover a variety of pet care topics including, First Aid, Diet and Nutrition and Vaccinations. The leaflets are available from PDSA PetAid hospitals and charity shops nationwide. Further information can be obtained from www.pdsa.org.uk.