Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or someone who’s had a canine companion around for as long as you can remember, you’ll want to make sure that your beloved pooch is on his best behavior at all times. Aside from the feeling of pride that a well-behaved dog can give you, you’ll also be more confident to take your pet out in public where he can interact with other dogs while making everyone—pets and owners alike—feel safe. Ideally, you can make sure your dog sits, stays put, or stays away from a busy intersection with just one command.
Given the special bond humans and canines have developed over thousands of years, it is not surprising that dogs have learned to recognize levels of authority when it comes to the commands they obey. In his column for Psychology Today, Stanley Coren, Ph. D. cites a study published earlier this year that takes a look at the impact of familiarity on dog obedience. The study’s authors tested how well a dog would respond to identical commands—without either reward or punishment—issued by his owner, by a familiar person, and by an unfamiliar person. Coren summarizes the study’s findings as follows:
The overall conclusion to be drawn from this research is that dogs respond to obedience commands best to their owner, less reliably but still mostly adequately to a familiar person, and the poorest to an unfamiliar person. However even when they are responding well to either the familiar or the unfamiliar person they are certainly going to respond much more slowly than they do for their owner.
Of course, making sure your dog knows how to react appropriately in any situation all starts with proper dog training in O’Fallon, IL. In fact, it is best to start young as puppies ages 8-12 weeks are virtually blank slates and have not yet formed bad or destructive habits. You can either learn the essential skills to train your dog yourself or schedule regular sessions with a trainer for a more intensive approach when it comes to potty training, leash walking, socializing, and positive behavior around other dogs and humans.
In any case, a recognized dog behavioral specialist can sit down with you to discuss your dog’s training needs and determine the most suitable program. Whether you are looking to resolve a major issue—such as anxiety, depression, or aggression—or simply require basic O’Fallon, IL dog obedience training, you can count on a dog behavior specialist and trainer such as Bo Harrison of Kranky K9 Dog Training to make your life easier and your pooch much happier.
(Source: Does a Person’s Familiarity Affect a Dog’s Obedience?, Psychology Today, August 20, 2014)