As mentioned under the enrichment page training is a great way of communicating with your pet, building a strong bond with them and teaching them appropriate behaviour. There are many types of training and classes available that help you and your pet live in harmony, from obedience training to dogs sport classes e.g. flyball and agility.
When choosing a trainer make sure you choose one that uses force free, positive reinforcement techniques. These techniques are scientifically proven to work. Force-free training means that a trainer does not employ pain or fear to train pets. Using fear and/or intimidation to train a pet only leads to further behavioural problems, exacerbates aggressive responses and leads to a breakdown in the bond between human and pet. The use of choke chains, prong collars or shock collars causes physical pain and injury to a pet, as well as potentially leading to behavioural problems out of fear of these training tools.
Positive reinforcement (or reward based training) rewards a behaviour from your pet you like and want your pet to repeat. Positive reinforcement training teaches a dog what you want them to do, instead of punishing them for a behaviour you do not like e.g. chewing or digging. Unless you teach your dog what you want them to do instead of chewing or digging they will most probably continue to do so. Positive reinforcement trainers use humane methods to train pets and prevent unwanted behaviour.
Flyball and agility are two dog sports that help your dog channel their energy through an appropriate and fun outlet. It also builds an even stronger connection between you and your dog as you have to work together as a team. Working breed dogs and dogs with a high energy drive need an appropriate, healthy outlet for their energy otherwise they can turn to destructive behaviour out of boredom, frustration or anxiety. Some breeds of dog were bred to walk over 20KM a day, if they don’t receive enough exercise this can lead them to inappropriate behaviour.