Congratulations! You are the owner of an adorable puppy. Now what?

Well, new pet owner, it’s time to train that furry friend. Besides the usual care and feeding of a pet, you and your pet need to learn guidelines and rules.

Why? Because an obedient dog will make his life and yours easier. There will be a better co-existence between the two of you. Remember, this pet is now part of your family.

“You send your child to school,” said Rebekah Reed, a trainer for Off Leash K9 Training. “Why wouldn’t you send your pet? A well-behaved dog will be happier and you will be happier.”

Dog training centers in El Paso offer everything from boarding the dog for a couple of weeks to owners taking classes on how to care and guide their new animal friend.

“Making sure your dog is trained is essential to welcoming your dog into your family,” said Angie Morgan, owner of Barker Haus Kennels. “You want them to be an asset, not a liability. Why get a dog if you are not going to include them as part of your family?"

Training isn’t just for furry animals, but for owners, too. Some programs spend several days showing people how to work with their dogs. Others have a few lessons on what the dog has learned.

“One of the most important aspects is training the owner,” said Erron Reid, owner of Dogon-Wild Dog Training center. “It allows them to develop their leadership role and have a better relationship with their dog.”

Journalist Bob Moore owns two dogs, Mickey and Frida, who were trained by Reid. The key is consistency, Moore said.

“It was very good training, but I am a terrible owner. I never followed through,” he said. “They give you guidelines on how to control your dog. Mine are good dogs, but I am just horrible owner.”

Hortencia Piña sent her dog, Hawkeye, to Off Leash K9 Training for two weeks. She received daily updates on her baby, and even videos. Now the large black and white dog is so obedient, he doesn’t even need a leash.

“He wasn’t a bad dog,” she said. “Because of his size, we needed to control him. I would take him places and he would drag me all over the place. Now he walks with me. Stays where I tell him to stay.”

Piña said the worst thing you can do to a dog is keep him in the backyard or inside the house for the rest of his life. “I wanted Hawkeye to be social and be part of our family,” she said. “We have that now.”

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