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Dog Training


Each dog has his own character but dogs’ behaviour is influenced greatly by their owners in both positive and negative way. Dogs are not good or mean by their nature but they are what their owners make them. So if you are considering to get a dog or already have a dog that has behaviour problems, you should seriously consider dog training. But how to train a dog?

If you want your dog to respond to your commands, you need to understand several things about dogs before you start with the training including:

Dogs are pack animals. Even though dogs have been domesticated thousands of years ago, they have retained some traits from their “wild” times and remain pack animals. Why does this matter? Because a pack needs a leader or alpha dog and because they perceive their human friends as members of their pack. However, if you dog considers you only a member of his pack but not the leader, there is a great chance that he will take over the role of the leader and become alpha dog. And since alpha dog is responsible for the protection of the pack, such dog will display an overly dominant behaviour, disobey your commands and possibly even show aggression to other people and yourself as well.

Treating dogs like humans is counter-productive. Dogs are not humans and they simply do not respond to human-like treatment. Instead, they will view it as a sign of weakness and consider you unable to be the leader of the pack. By treating your dog like a human, there is a great chance that you would get an alpha dog rather than a loyal and obedient companion.


Dogs read body language. Dogs may be able to understand a few words but they do not understand the human language. Rather than acting upon your words, they will act upon your body language. For dogs, hesitation and indecisiveness for instance are a sign of weakness and incompetence which in turn is taken advantage to establish themselves as the leaders of the pack.

Dogs have a tendency to pick up the energy of their owners. Dogs do not only read your body language but they also have a tendency to respond to the energy you are emitting. You may be able to hide that you are nervous, uncertain or anxious from other people but you cannot hide it from dogs. To make things worse, dogs tend to pick up the energy of their owners. And if they are picking up nervousness and anxiety, they can be highly unpredictable. If you want your dog to respond to your commands and accept you as the leader of the pack, you need to be calm but determined.

Dogs do not only respond to food rewards. It is no secret that successful dog training is based on rewarding desirable behaviour and correcting misbehaviour. However, giving your dog a treat every time he is a “good boy” is not the only way to encourage good behaviour and teach him some new tricks. Non-food rewards such as patting for instance can be just as powerful motivation as a treat. The secret is in association with a positive experience rather than the reward itself.