Canine Temperament Governs Training Methods

Dogs have different temperaments just like their human family members. At first glance, a large dog might appear to have a dominant character because of his physical size and strength. Interaction with the owner might reveal that the dog is submissive in his canine-human interactions. Owners can shape the dog’s dominant traits through consistent training that reduces disagreeable behavior.

Recognize the dominant dog that is not aggressive in nature.

• Exhibits more demanding tendencies in daily family life.
• Causes issues in the home, such as destruction of belongings and interruptions.
• Pulls on a lead regardless of the owner’s pace.
• Aggressive tendencies are present and should never be encouraged or taught.
• Requires constant mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive habits.
• Experienced trainers will achieve great results when the goal is competition or a working canine.
• Regular training sessions provide the necessary guidance that restrains the dominant tendencies.

On the other hand, small dogs can appear to be submissive. The size of the dog is not indicative of his ability to respond appropriately in various situations. Submissive dogs are not necessarily nervous by nature.

• A dog that enjoys being in the presence of the family will be easy to please and make few demands.
• Quieter dogs that are more manageable within the daily life of a family are said to be submissive in nature.
• Mistakes that are made in training are easier to rectify with a submissive dog.
• Less boisterous and laid back tendencies allow the owner to take the dog more places without surprises.
• Submissive dogs are great a family pets and personal companions.
• Firm schedules and regular training sessions are not as necessary for the submissive canine.

Both temperaments cause the family dog to have an innate desire to please the human owner. Training a canine is rewarding since dogs will exhibit the behaviors that are consistently taught in each training session. A great dog is made when the owner spends time each day developing the responses that are acceptable in various situations. Dogs will know what is expected when riding in a car, going to the park or spending time with the family. Every effort must be made to follow these rules for training a canine companion.

• Over volumes of praise when the dog responds to the commands according to instructions; correct with firm statements when the behavior misses the mark.
• Immediate praise or punishment is essential for tying the dog’s actions to the trainer’s response. Lapses of time are confusing to the canine when correction is delayed.
• Refrain from giving a command if the ability to enforce it is lacking. Certain situations cause the dog to be out of reach, so the owner should refrain from calling out commands at a distance.
• Consistency is essential to shape the dog’s habits in each situation.
• Owners can never lose control over the temper. Take a break during the training session if the dog is unable to follow commands and respond appropriately.
• Teach the dog how to respond before expecting him to know what is required. Walk through the desired response prior to issuing the command and expecting compliance.
• Consider the training session from the dog’s perspective. Some dogs are unable to focus for more than five minutes at a time. Short sessions can be more effective in these instances.
• Dogs have limitations, and wise owners will recognize a command that is beyond the dog’s abilities.
• Punishment must match the situation at all times. Severe punishments should be rare in the effort to stop a certain action that could be dangerous for the dog. Overuse of extreme punishments will cause the dog to resent the owner.
• Discern the difference between confusion and blatant disobedience. A dog that does not understand a command will sit down or look at the owner for additional instructions. The owner must be aware of these reactions before applying discipline.
• Praise should be offered in large, unrestrained quantities. Dogs will do almost anything for a loving owner who appreciates his efforts.
• Training sessions should be short and fun for trainer and canine. Multiple short sessions will bring more consistent results in less time.

Simple commands form the basis for more advanced behaviors that can be taught as the dog matures. Trainers are wise to spend time with the dog in shorter spans of time that allow the dog’s attention span to lengthen. Owners learn that a dog will have days when training is not interesting or fun. On these occasions, a game or long walk might fill the time together with another situation where the dog learns how to behave appropriately.

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