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Dog Training -- Who's Teaching Who?
How Well Trained is Your Pooch?
No matter what type of dog you have, dog training is a must. We must teach our dogs how to behave properly or they will not be very fun to be around.
Obedience training is what comes to mind when the term "dog training" is used. This is where we teach our beloved canines to sit, stay, come, heel, drop, and lie down. With these simple commands most dogs can be acceptable members of society. Obedience dog training can be taken further. Some dogs are taught not to beg, some are crate trained, and others learn hand signals or become trained with a clicker or by whistles. Whatever the method, all dogs need at least some basic obedience dog training.
Another type of dog training is protection dog training. This is not for everyone. A lot of this training is military and/or police training. If you are concerned about personal safety and require your dog for security purposes, you need to understand that this cannot be the same type of dog that you take for a walk in the park and have all the little kids come and play with it. Dogs trained for protection are working dogs. Their job is to protect their people and property.
The dog will have to learn attack commands and also when to "hold" and when to go further with an attack. A hold would be when you train the dog to attack, and restrain an intruder. This could mean physically pining them to the ground or up against a wall, building, tree or fence.
Most attack commands are given in German. They are not taught these commands in English. Protection dog training will teach your dog to hurt people if it becomes necessary to do so. It is important to find the right trainer. Be sure the one you pick is very reputable and that they treat the dog kindly during training.
Agility dog training is another kind of training for your dog. This is fun. Unlike traditional dog shows, you can enter a mutt into an agility dog show. These shows, are actually competitions where the dogs show off their speed, agility, and ability to jump. Basic training involves slalom training, running through tunnels, jumping hurdles, and going up and over an incline. Most dogs seem to love agility training. This type of training is best suited to younger, agile dogs. Small dogs with short legs like basset hounds, dachshunds and the like are not well suited to this type of training.
The great thing about this type of truing is that you can start this yourself. Many of the large pet store chains carry a basic agility dog training set. This can be great fun and exercise for both owner and dog. Another type of agility dog training is Frisbee training. This is where you can teach your dog to literally fly and catch the Frisbee. I find it amazing how far off the ground some dogs can get. Before starting any form of agility training, be sure your dog is in good shape and that they do not have any back, hip or joint problems.
Finally there is show dog training. If you have a well pedigreed dog that meets all the standards for its breed you may want to consider showing your dog. You will have to register the dog with the AKC or other registering body. You will need the dog's pedigree. Then you need to find a trainer to work the dog through show routines. Dogs who are show dogs must not mind being groomed and handled often. They will also need to be able to travel well if you are going to the nationals shows. The best advice here is to get a super good trainer. No matter what type of dog you have, there is some form of dog training that will suit their needs.