Confused by the Internet? What applies to my dog?
So much information, let’s help you determine what applies to your dog.
Dog Training is Always Evolving
There are new ideas and practices coming out every single day in the dog training world. Some methods work better and faster than others. This website will be forever evolving to incorporate the best practices.
Let's Set Our First Standard
I am sure you can agree that if there is a way to learn something new that is fun and exciting that everyone can enjoy, it would be the most preferred method.
If at all possible we will use a way that is fun and rewarding for the dog. Sometimes it seems to be necessary to have a dog avoid a consequence and you will see that demonstrated in different areas of this website. This will either be Positive or Negative. If we can use Positive 100% we will. We will use Negative when we come across Bank Robber Principle.
So Much Dog Training Advice -
People have opinions and preferences, that is why there are so many conflicting ideas on dog training. It seems most people will tell you their opinion and why the other person is wrong or misled. This provides confusion to someone new to training dogs. It leaves them wondering who is right.
At Fort Dogsworth we like to research everything pertaining to dog training. We will do our best to list pros and cons for everything. This will help you make an informed decision on what is best for you and your dog.
Training a dog differs in two ways primarily, your dog will either be:
1. Pursuing Pleasure
2. Avoiding Discomfort (or Pain in more severe training)
The first category of Pursuing Pleasure would include but not limited to items such as these:
Treat or Clicker Training
Working for Fetch or Tug
Working for Attention and Petting
The Second category of Avoiding Discomfort would include but not limited to items such as these:
Pinning to the ground
Hard yanks on the leash
Poke to the neck
Shaker can (pennies in a pop can)
It basically comes down to: Does your dog enjoy it and want to pursue it or does your dog dislike it and want to avoid it?
Each of these categories have their Pros and Cons. Taking a deeper look there are often ways to pull Pros from each side and the Cons of neither side.
Here are some other key factors for training your dog:
Does your dog have High Desire to Please or Low Desire to Please?
Is your dog naturally an Alpha, Beta or Omega? Pack structure is widely debated. Here we can take a closer look at why each side has their opinion.
What was your dog originally Bred to Do?
What Natural Drives does your dog have? (fetch, tug, guarding, nosework, etc.)
These days it is more popular to choose dogs based on looks and not for a specific job. Many of us are a few generations removed from the days of dogs working with people. Back then dogs were bred for certain tasks and were often so good at them naturally they required little to no training.
Today the primary job is to be a family member that provides us with companionship and enjoyment. Certain dogs are very well suited for that job naturally. Others are better suited for other jobs and this is often when we come across problem behaviours: When a dog is naturally suited for one job and we try to make it do another. This could be similar to someone who is very artistic and likes drawing and we make them be an accountant. They could still do that job but often times not as well as someone who is naturally suited to be an accountant.
Harnessing natural drives in your dog can lead to new enjoyment and help turn what was once a nuisance into something that the both of you enjoy.
There are a lot of things you may want your dog to do but they don't want to do what you ask. Having your dog follow through will either come to a High Desire to Please and / or Respect.
Here is one of the most simple ways to know if your dog has a High Desire to Please:
Will your dog naturally Fetch and return the ball to you and drop it immediately when asked or does your dog want to keep the ball away from you?
A dog with a very high desire to please will often naturally fetch (a dog can still have a high desire to please but no prey drive to chase after the ball). This is why people find Retrievers so easy to train. When we do Temperament Testing for other Breeders, fetch is one of the tests we do regardless of Breed type. People will ask us, "Is this test biased towards retrieving dogs?". The answer is no, it just merely shows desire to please. We have had huskies that will naturally fetch and Black Labs that won't fetch. The huskies that will fetch are often easier to work with than Labs that won’t fetch.
So now the question is, does your dog have a high desire to please or not? If your dog does have a high desire to please then training should be a piece of cake for you. If your dog does not have a high desire to please then you are in for a lot more work. You can still get them to listen well but it is going to take a lot more time, practice and consistency.
It is the goal of this website to provide an unbiased (as humanly possible) view into all training so you can see the pros and cons of everything and make decisions for yourself. Us humans tend to stick to one side and nature shows us that too much of one thing can cause problems.
Through your help and ideas we can continue to fine tune the training process to obtain the best relationships we can with our dogs.
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