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Training to prevent, not just to cure

Training to prevent bad behaviours is just as (if not more) important as training to cure them.

An often overlooked point of dog training, is using it as a prevention method. Often we wait for a problem to arise in order to fix it, rather than teach our dog basic obedience and manners from the start so that behavioural problems don't occur in the first place.

To do this, your best bet is to start young with basic obedience training and plenty of socialisation. This means that training is just a known part of their routine and your expectations are laid out early. Socialisation also ensures they know what the big wide world is all about. Puppy Preschool is a great way to do this. If you have an older dog, fear not, it doesn't mean that you've missed the boat. Basic obedience and manners can still be taught at any age. Puppies just tend to be a bit more mouldable. 'Prevent vs cure' also means addressing things earlier than you would normally feel necessary. If you notice any slightly odd or non ideal behaviours in your dog, even if it's as little as jumping up at the dinner table, that's the perfect time to address it. Not waiting until it becomes jumping up, stealing food and barking at all meal times.

A good place to start with basic manners, is teaching your dog three vital cues; Leave it, Come and Stay. There is absolutely an abundance more that you can teach your dog, all with benefits, but these are the must haves. If you have a dog fluent in these three, you will have a generally well behaved dog. These cues will keep them safe in sticky situations, help you both to build a respectful bond with each other, as well as keeping your household items free from the dreaded chew marks.

Getting in early with your training and using it as a prevention tool rather than a fix, ultimately means a shorter training journey, a better & quicker chance at success and a better relationship with your dog.

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