Training your dog is a way to establish a line of communication, a common language that you will use to communicate with your dog for her entire lifetime. Whether you spend time teaching your dog simple obedience commands or complicated tricks, you will strengthen your relationship with your dog and build a strong foundation of trust. Developing a trusting relationship with your dog through the use of positive training methods will enhance the special bond that you share with your dog, and it will also make the quality of life you share all the better.
Training is a relationship, and like all relationships it needs to be maintained through lots of repetition and practice. Training has no designated beginning or end since a dog is capable of learning throughout its entire lifetime. Initially, training involves lots of practice and will probably include attending classes to learn how to practice when surrounded by distractions. Eventually, you may not train your dog formally every day, but your dog will still be learning new things every day, and participating in that learning is what owning a dog is all about.
Behavior problems can be detrimental to establishing a relationship with your dog and keeping it strong, and I have addressed several of the most trying ones in this book. The solutions are simple, and they concentrate on rebuilding trust in your relationship with your dog while simultaneously improving your dog's manners and comfort. Almost every behavior problem relates back to some need that has not been met. You will notice a pattern as you read about the solutions to each problem: A lot of dogs would not exhibit behavior problems if they got enough exercise. If your dog is experiencing a behavior problem that is threatening your sanity, consider increasing her daily exercise and see if this helps alleviate the intensity of the problem. The topics covered in this book range from teaching tricks to solving behavior problems, and I hope it inspires you to build a great relationship with your dog and have fun doing it. There is no greater reward for your hard effort than the loyalty and love of a faithful canine companion. Great dog companions — like great human companions — are not born. They are cultivated by spending time together, learning about each other, and learning how to develop the strongest relationship possible. It is my sincere wish that this book will positively change the way you view dog training and enhance your relationship with your dog.