Why educate a dog?

1. The Call of The Wild
There are many reasons why it's so important for a dog to have an education. Dogs, like people, are not born knowing what to do. Think of some of the things you might do if no one had taught you any manners... perhaps eating with your hands, pushing people out of your way, or interrupting conversations might come to mind. A dog will also develop behaviors on his own if not taught otherwise. One of the things a dog might do would be play-biting and jumping as their way of greeting. Some dogs might challenge anyone who tries to discipline them. Others may be very fearful... a behavior that often results in biting.

When dogs are in the wild, they form a pack. Within this pack, they develop their own "pecking order" which is similar to a totem pole. If there are 6 dogs in the pack, they will each have their own position. One will be the 'top dog' or Alpha dog, and the rest will each have their own positions 2-6 on the totem pole. All of the dogs in the pack know exactly where everyone stands. This pecking order is based upon respect, and each position is obtained through a show of dominance or submission.

When training a dog, it is very important to establish a relationship based upon respect. With the help of Best Paw Forward, dogs can learn to respect humans, but not to fear them. We can help dogs to learn what kind of behavior is expected of them by being their leader or Alpha "dog."

2. Relationships with Humans
Another reason it is so important to educate dogs is to enrich the dog / human relationship. Very often, people get a dog expecting "man's best friend." Instead, they end up with "man's worst nightmare!" Instead of relaxing strolls through the park, they find themselves being dragged down the sidewalk! Owners very often find themselves constantly yelling at their dog, keeping them outside or separated when visitors come over, and bribing them with treats to try to get good behavior. This can be very frustrating, and it also creates a circle of failure. The constant yelling, isolation, and confusion can often cause a dog to behave even more poorly. Through proper education of both the owner and the dog, a much more enjoyable, less frustrating relationship can quickly be developed. With the help of Best Paw Forward, we can help owners and their dogs to have the relationships they originally intended.

3. Behavior Problems
Behavior problems are one of the biggest problem areas for dog owners. Very often, owners think their dog is "untrainable." They may think that you can't train an older dog, or that their dog is just stupid. Our two main objectives at Best Paw Forward are:

a.) To prevent behavior problems from developing.
b.) To teach dogs who already have problems to change their behavior.

4. Accident Prevention
Another of the most important reasons to educate dogs is to prevent accidents. For example, dogs who jump can be very dangerous. They can knock over children, elderly people, and people carrying hot dishes. Biting is a problem that can be dangerous to say the least. By teaching dogs to behave appropriately, the number of accidents and injuries caused by them can be greatly reduced, and even eliminated!

It is obvious that a lack of dog education can be very dangerous to humans, but what about injuries to the dogs themselves? Well, the dog who jumps might get burned by the hot dishes. Dogs who do not come when called often end up running into the street and being hit by cars. Chewing problems can often have fateful endings when intestinal injuries are incurred from ingesting things such as metal, wood, and splintered bones.

Through education, Best Paw Forward can help owners and dogs to prevent accidents and mishaps from occurring. By using professional methods, and providing factual information, we can help owners and dogs to be involved in considerably less accidents.

Did You Know?
- Anti-freeze tastes like candy to dogs
- All dogs are extremely allergic to chocolate
- A dogs body temperature is considerably higher than that of humans

My dog is older, can he or she still be trained?

The answer is a resounding "yes"! Many people mistakenly think their dog's habits can never change. (The myth that you 'can't teach an old dog new tricks'!) In reality, older dogs are often easier to teach! They may have a few habits to change, but they usually enjoy the training and all the attention they get. In turn, it makes the dog interested in the lessons and therefore a quick learner. You may find that your dog is smarter than you think, and has been pulling the wool over your eyes! When adult dogs experience more serious behavior problems, it is often the result of incorrect socialization or even boredom! Here at Best Paw Forward, approximately 20% of the dogs we train are over 5 years old. An additional 40% are over 2 years old. Our oldest graduate was 13 years old! If you still think your dog is too old for training... think again. The average lifespan of a dog is about 15 years. If your dog is already 6 years old, there are approximately 9 more years you can expect to live with this pet. Why not spend those years enjoying him as much as possible?

My dog has bit someone / attacked another dog / or has shown aggression.. Does he or she need to be euthanized?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!
Here at Best Paw Forward, we are not your average dog training company. We are what's called "dog behavior experts". This is because of our years of hands-on experience. There has not been a dog yet that we could not help, or completely rehabilitate. Most of our results will depend upon the pet owners' participation ... without that the consistency factor will not be there - which is the bottom line necessity to keep your dog stable both, psychologically and physically.