Anyone who has ever adopted a new puppy knows the importance of dog training. These lovable canine furballs can be just as unruly as they are adorable. All puppies have an excessive amount of energy they need to burn off, but some grow out of it while others remain excitable well into old age.
A peek into any dog daycare shows the incredible variety of dog breeds and temperaments that exist. While there are many general dog training rules, each dog is unique and requires a tailored training strategy. Below is an explanation of how a dog’s breed and other essential factors change training approaches.
How Breed Affects Training
It is not difficult to see how a dog’s breed might change their personality. A 150lb Bull Mastiff is going to have a very different attitude than a 5lb Chihuahua. Furthermore, many breeds have been bred for specific traits that make them more prone to some behaviors.
For example, Black and Tan Coonhounds were bred for hunting. Breeders favored dogs with a strong independent streak so they could spend time out in the woods on their own. While good for hunting, this innate independence makes it more challenging to train.
On the other hand, German Shepherds are working dogs that take to training quite easily. They are incredibly smart and require just as much mental stimulation as they do physical stimulation. To train this breed, dog owners must engage them on multiple levels.
Breeds like the Siberian Husky and Basset Hound are known to be incredibly talkative. When training these dogs, it is essential to teach them to control their bark. This can be done by teaching them to speak on command, which facilitates teaching them how to be silent on command.
How a Dog’s Motivation Changes Training
While a dog’s breed affects its trainability, there is one thing that remains consistent across the board: the dog’s motivation. Dogs will always perform the task that is most rewarding to them, so owners must determine what their dog’s favorite reward is. Knowing the dog’s breed can make figuring out its motivation much easier.
For example, Beagles have a fantastic sense of smell and can be highly food motivated, and will do just about anything for kibble. On the other hand, herding dog breeds, like the Border Collie, are often disinterested in treats but value playful interaction instead.
How a Dog’s Purpose Changes Training
Another important factor that changes the approach to dog training is the dog’s purpose. The military and police often use German Shepherds because they can remain calm and follow instructions during high-stress situations. These dogs will have a very in-depth and consistent training schedule to make sure they follow commands at all times.
However, if a person just wants to have a lovable family pet, in-depth training is unnecessary. Many families opt for Labrador Retrievers because of their fun-loving, goofy nature, and high distress tolerance. However, as their name suggests, these breeds can also utilize in-depth training to teach them how to retrieve things from the water, such as fishermen’s nets or ropes.
There is no doubt that a dog’s breed significantly affects how it should be trained. Each of the hundreds of dog breeds was bred for a specific task, and the best method of training will cater to each dog’s innate drive.