Why train your dog?
First, ask yourself if you accept these two simple ideas.
1) A dog that can learn to make good choices will ultimately achieve more opportunities to experience their life to the fullest.
For example, the dog that can recall on command will get to explore more areas off-leash than the dog who cannot. The dog that can hold a reliable down stay can be a part of family/friend gatherings as we don’t need to worry about them jumping up on people etc.
2) Most of the choices that a dog makes are perceived as “good” or “bad” through a human perspective.
Our dogs live in a human dominated world. They live with us and they need to figure out how to navigate the world with us. If humankind were all of a sudden to vanish in a flash, fine … dogs wouldn’t have much concern about whether or not they had to make choices that are deemed acceptable or not by humans. They would figure out how to survive and they would move on.
The dog that is a nuisance to their owner because they pull on the leash to chase birds and squirrels ultimately has a survival advantage if they live in a world without humans. Same behavior, different values.
But it looks like this human/dog arrangement is going to progress as is for a little while longer so, again, why train your dog?
If we accept that the dogs that can make the best choices will have a higher quality of life, and that those choices they will have to make are given a value by us humans (and not the dogs!), then the idea of training our dog seems to take on more of an obligation, rather than a choice we have to make.
It might *feel* like the right thing to do to give our dogs lots of unstructured freedom. But the reality is that true freedom comes through training.
If we make the rules for the dogs, then we also have to accept the responsibility of teaching the rules to the dogs. And only through that education will our dogs have the opportunity to be all that they can be.
And that’s why you should train your dog.