Aug
25th

Think About Training When Choosing A Dog

I’ve tried the nice approach, but it doesn’t work.  I’ve tried giving her a smack but she just looks at me as if to say “Yeah?  And?” then just carries on doing her own thing.  The other dog wasn’t like this at all.  I take her out a couple of times a day but she just doesn’t stop – she’s into everything all the time.  I think we’re going to have to take her to dog training or something.  Gary, UK

This highlights the pitfalls of not thinking about dog training when choosing your dog.

Actually there are two aspects of dog training you must consider.  They kind of go hand in hand:

  1. How much time you can spend on training
  2. The basic trainability of the dog anyway
Time spent on dog training

Consider how much time you have for general day to day exercise.  Then add time for training on top. 

Some training can be done on your walks.  These include recall (to come when called), fetch, sitting at the kerb before crossing the road, greeting strangers nicely without jumping up and walking with a loose lead.

Time spent training is always well spent.  It’s vital for bonding with your dog.  It also teaches your dog the rules and how to be a good citizen.  But in the early days it does add to your walk time.  Your 30 minute walk plus training can easily become 45 minutes or an hour.

And don’t forget that training is also done at home too.  Indoors or in the garden you should still reinforce what you’ve done on your walks.  Add in some more time for that every day.

If you want a well behaved dog that everyone admires, then you need to spend time on training.  And you need to determine in advance how much time you will (be able to) spend on training. Because…..

The amount of time you can spend influences which dog you can choose.

Dog trainability

All dogs can be trained, but they all need different levels of time.  Some are easy to train.  Half an hour a day for a few months and you’re pretty much done!  Some (like the dog above) are wilful and difficult.  They require more persistence, commitment and consistency.

Easy to train dogs include the Labrador, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Golden Retriever, Belgian Sheepdog (Groenendahl/Turveuren), Brittany Spaniel, and Poodles.

Also some dogs respond to different methods.  If you make sure you know what training methods work, it cuts your  time down AND improves the dog’s trainability.

If you’re using methods which are wrong for that breed, it does the opposite.

A general rule

If you’re a first time dog owner, look for a dog that’s easy to train.  And continue with something relatively easy in the future.  If you only want a pet, then why take on something difficult?  You just want a dog you can walk with, snuggle and have fun with so don’t complicate things!

Once you’ve cut your teeth on your first dog (and its training) you can move on to something more challenging – if you want.  Over time you’ll build your skills and confidence.  You might find dog training fun and rewarding, so with the next dog you can do more. 

As a novice, only start with a more challenging dog if:

  • you really have a burning desire to become something in the dog world.  Examples of this include a heelwork to music, obedience or agility champion. 
  • you’re willing to commit a lot of time.

Remember that ‘easy to train’ does not necessarily mean ‘intelligent’.  Some very smart dogs are hard to train because they think for themselves and have been bred to work away from humans.

Read up on the different breeds which might fit your enthusiasm for training.  Do as much research as you can.  Dog training should be fun and rewarding.  If you choose a dog that fits the time and energy you have for training, it will be.  And you’ll have a well-mannered dog that everyone admires!

Dog Training is only one aspect

Remember that just because a dog is easy to train does not mean it fits your lifestyle.  There would be no point in getting a Belgian Sheepdog (a working, high exercise breed) if you only have half an hour a day for walks.  But do use dog trainability as part of choosing the right dog for you.

Choosing A Dog The Right Way

It’s a fact that 50% of all people who get a dog have to rehome it in less than 12 months.  It’s also a very sad truth that a huge number of puppies bought are from puppy farms – raised in appalling conditions without adequate care, veterinary treatment, food or socialisation.  Many have health problems and behavioural issues.  And these contribute to the problems you as owners face when you get them home.

Failure HURTS.   The emotional and financial cost of choosing the wrong dog can be hard to recover from.   Learning to choose a dog the right way takes a long time. You have to know all the questions before you know if you have the answers.  Missing even a small piece of the puzzle can cause serious problems.

That’s why this site was set up.  My mission in life is for everyone who is right for a dog to have a dog they love to live with.  To get rid of as many puppy farms as possible, and rescue centres, by making sure you choose right first time.

You can choose to get it right.  The tools on this site give you all the opportunity you need to choose the right dog.  Not everyone has lots of money to splash about so there’s everything from free to a serious investment.  However if you’re spending $800 or more on a pedigree puppy then just a little bit extra invested now could make all the difference later on.

Get Your Free Guides!

Most people make a mess of choosing a dog.  Puppy farms do big business because of it.  Sickness, starvation and suffering are the price the dogs pay. It’s a multi-billion industry you don’t want to fund. Get a lifetime of support from people who care.  Fast track your success with the best tips around.  Get your Free Guides today by clicking this link

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