But most professional trainers will tell you that these sessions are as much about the humans as they are about the canines. Part of the reward, they say, is watching owners make discoveries, have fun, and bond with their pet.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out these four amazing benefits humans get from training their dogs.
Benefit 1: Mood Booster
Training allows owners to spend quality, one-on-one time with their dogs, which can lift their spirits and improve their mood. That’s because animals have a remarkable calming effect on humans. In fact, studies have shown that pet owners are less likely to suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease and depression than non-pet owners.
Benefit 2: Keeps the Brain Sharp
Research published in the Journal of Psychological Science showed that learning a new skill can enhance cognitive function in older adults. Teaching a dog a new trick or learning how to run an agility course requires just as much brainpower for the human as it does for the dog.
Benefit 3: Teaches a New Language
Dogs have a subtle language all their own that many people don’t understand, and behavior problems often stem from this lack of communication. Successful training requires the human to carefully observe canine body language and interpret what their dog is trying to tell them. And that leads to understanding, trust and a better relationship between the pair.
Benefit 4: Provides Social Opportunities
Social relationships and a strong support system are vital to maintaining good health amongst all age groups. But as we get older and busier, there are often fewer and fewer opportunities to make friends. Luckily dogs are the perfect icebreakers, and a weekly group training class is a great way to connect with other like-minded individuals.
Your turn: What other benefits do you think humans get from training their dog? Share with us in the comments below.