Whether you have purchased a puppy from a breeder or adopted an adult dog from a shelter, you may soon find yourself wondering about finding a dog trainer.
Training your dog makes a great deal of sense. It helps you form a closer bond with your dog while also teaching your pup essential commands like “sit” and “stay.”
What if your dog is demonstrating any kind of problem behavior? Maybe she appears to suffer from separation anxiety or is demonstrating some aggressive behavior. Will taking your dog to the kind of training where she learns to respond to verbal commands address these issues?
In general, it won’t. That’s why there is more than one kind of dog training. These different types of training are referred to as obedience training and behavioral training.
The emphasis in obedience training is on teaching your dog to respond to commands and learning where boundaries are set. When a dog completes this type of training, the dog parent may expect their pup to reliably and predictably respond to basic commands like, “come.”
The very name of this type of training implies that the dog will learn to comply with a verbal command or hand signal given by a trainer, owner or handler. Obedience training can require a great deal of time, and it always demands consistency. Of course, some dogs seem to respond more quickly and readily to obedience training than others.
Obedience training is a valuable tool for dogs and owners who want to build a lasting and meaningful relationship between a leader, the human, and a follower, the dog. Through the training, the pup learns compliance behaviors that give him a positive reinforcement.
Basically, this is the kind of training that is most frequently demonstrated when you and your pup are spending time together because it involves you providing instruction or direction and your dog complying.
This type of training is most frequently used to deal with bad habits that may have been formed over the course of years. However, it can be useful and effective for younger dogs that seem to have some habits that their pet parents would like to modify.
Unlike obedience training, the goal of behavioral training is not to get the dog to comply with a command. Instead, the focus is on rehabilitation or the rewiring of the dog’s responses to certain conditions or stimuli.
For instance, imagine that you dog has serious separation anxiety. Whenever you must leave him alone for a few hours, he acts out by chewing on miscellaneous items or with otherwise inappropriate behavior.
Taking this dog to behavioral training will teach him to respond differently when he next finds himself alone in the house. Essentially, the dog responds with the learned behaviors from his training when he is left alone without anyone there to provide commands or direction. The dog probably even thinks that performing the learned behavior was his own idea.
The more you encourage your pup to practice these learned behaviors, the stronger the connections in his brain become, reinforcing the behavior so that he’ll use it for his whole life.
Which Type of Training Is Right for Your Dog?
Pretty nearly any dog can benefit from attending obedience training since this is where pups and owners forge a closer bond. It’s also much more enjoyable to have a dog that knows how to heel on a leash and comes when she’s called.
Behavioral training isn’t necessarily required for all dogs. If your dog shows signs of aggression, anxiety, inappropriate chewing behavior or has other habits that are troubling, then behavioral training may be the answer.
Behavior training can have an immense and lasting impact on the behavior of your dog. Perhaps even more critically, it can revolutionize your relationship with your pup. That’s because behavior training makes your dog less likely to run out the front door every time you open it, bite the mailman or get into the garbage can the moment you leave the kitchen.
When your dog exhibits less doubtful behavior and gets in trouble less often, the results will be extremely positive for both of you.
The principles that you and your pup learn in any training situation will serve both of you in your everyday life going forward. Keep the principles of these lessons in mind to foster a closer bond that includes plenty of contentment and cooperation.
If you are in Central Florida and need help with obedience or behavior training. Check out the training classes we offer. Our goal is to create a better relationship between you and your canine companion.
Teena Patel is a Certified Dog Trainer and Behavioral Counselor who works with pet owners and owners of doggy daycares to bring her philosophy of Enrichment to the canine population. After almost two decades of successful dog training under her belt, Teena has done away with the standard doggy daycare “warehousing” of animals in kennels and runs. In place of an industrial model, she focuses on what is right for the dogs as living beings, providing experiences that improve and enhance their behavioral health. Coupled with a program of careful training, the Doglando experience results in companion dogs who are better-behaved, better integrated into their families, and above all, much happier. True to her passion, Teena Patel gives dogs the freedom “to be dogs”.