A well trained dog is a joy to own, but there are also some safety reasons to train your dog. If your dog is racing after a ball onto a busy road… you want to be able to tell him to “stop” or “come” and he will do it prior to going under the wheels of the car. If you are yet to purchase your new pooch and you haven’t yet chosen a breed bear in mind the different breeds have different levels of trainability.

Livestock guardian dogs are trainable but they are wilful and will not do well if you are trying to train them to do something that they really don’t want to do. It is an almost impossible task to train a sight hound not to chase a fleeing cat. Hound dogs in general are difficult to train.

Herding dogs which have a natural herding ability, are easy to train to-do tasks that mimic heading ability. Likewise dogs are predisposed to act as guardians such as Dobermans, our easy to train as guard dogs.

The concept of training a dog is a simple one. You as the Alpha dog in the pack, are seeking to modify the pack behaviour of one of the lower ranked dogs – that is – YOUR dog. Dogs are social, pack animals the pack always having a leader. Many of the commands you will teach a dog or in fact modified hunting behaviour. Of course to modify this behaviour in view to impress upon your dog that you are the Alpha dog, you have to think and act like the Alpha dog. Here are some tips the getting started

Pack-think and be the Alpha Dog
Understand that in the wild pack leader only maintained his position through force. Not that I’m saying it should be your dog – but you do you need to always show your dog you’re in charge. Don’t be wishy-washy. If you fail to show your dog leadership their natural pack response will be to act in a way to fill this leadership void. This is equally so whether your dog is to while or a Rottweiler. Don’t think your size is the major factor here – if your intelligence to decisiveness and your consistency are important. Your dog will be happier for it – they exactly desire you to be the Alpha dog.  They would much prefer to have a strong Alpha dog will protect, guard and lead them. And in the modern pack of domestic dog that Guardian and leader is you.

If you have a puppy, make sure you begin training them as soon as they reach the appropriate training age – this will reinforce their natural tendency to depend on others. it is much harder to start training a mature dog there has received no training as a puppy

Older dogs
The saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is not entirely true – in this case picture in your mind an image of an old dog joining a new pack – the old dog to learn better learn quick or they will be in a whole trouble. Sure an old dog isn’t going to be as quick on the uptake as a puppy and yes they are likely to have some entrenched behavioural patterns that will be difficult to modify but persevere. An older dog that is more difficult to train is better than an older dog with no training

Be Firm, but not scary
Yelling at your dog or hitting them will never bring you a good result. This will place them in headspace of panic when they are not willing to try to do the right thing. A nervous or fearful dog will be a slow learner. The firm, don’t reward bad behaviour and by reward, I mean don’t laugh or smile when they do something wrong even if it might be funny.

Some dogs are Smarter than Others
I don’t just mean some dogs within a particular breed are smarter than others I mean some breeds are smarter than others. The smarter breeds will turn to learn more and learn faster.

Some Dogs have instincts that can’t be trained out
This is especially so of the hound dogs. A scent hound that discovers a particularly appealing scent may decide to follow it to discovers it regardless of how many times you have tried to impress on your hound dog that they must not leave the yard. And sight hounds – should a rabbit bolts in to view, no amount of cries of sit stay  or comeback is going to help.

Some dogs are Sensitive
In most cases positive reinforcement rather than punishment is going to achieve better results when training your dog however with the sensitive breeds you will not only achieve better results you will achieve a result at all. Yell at a sensitive breed dog and is likely to be offended, sulk and wish to participate in training no more.

like humans dogs learn through repetition and reinforcement. Some breeds were faster than others and some also have longer concentration spans. Training some dogs is like training a very young child, it’s important to mix things up will get bored. Once your dog has learnt a certain command don’t just leave it at that. Constant reinforcement is necessary they should give the command from time to time and make them obey it or otherwise they will likely forget to obey it.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.