Dog training is an important aspect of a dog’s life with their dog parents, since there are a lot of different dog breeds with different personalities.
There are different types of dog training that are meant to hone the specific skills of each dog based on their breed, personality and capabilities.
The qualified people who can professionally train dogs are the dog trainers.
But as dog parents we can lay the foundation for some of these types of dog training and this specialty dog training can even turn into a fun learning experience with our furry friend.
Training involves a lot of time and effort and it also has different methods of how it can be done. In humans, kids and adults are trained differently, since these two age groups have very different motivations in life.
Kids value simple rewards like stars on their hands using stamps or stickers or compliments from their teachers or even additional tasks in the classroom.
For adults, rewards are more tangible and realistic. They value additional compensation, a higher score in their company scorecard or an all expenses trip abroad.
This is similar for animals, particularly for dogs. There are multiple methods used in dog training. Here are the types of dog training methods, according to k9ofmine.com:
1. Alpha/Dominance Dog Training
The Alpha/Dominance Dog training is based on the “pack structure” idea, which is unlike the other modern dog training methods. Other dog trainers even consider this dog training method to be outdated and should not be used anymore.
This training method involves the dog parent becoming the “alpha” in the “pack”. And this means showing dominance over your dog and making them feel under you and to not be treated as a kid or even a friend.
The dominance dog training puts the “alpha” on top of the pack and teaches the dog that they need to be obedient and submissive to the alpha.
Dogs are not allowed to walk first before the alpha, and in all activities they are only allowed to react once the alpha gives them a go signal.
For example, dogs will be trained to wait patiently while the alpha prepares their food. And when they want to go out they need to also patiently wait for the alpha to open the door for them.
The training involves reward and punishment. When the dog does something that does not follow the alpha, they receive punishment or intimidation or the “alpha roll”, where the dog is placed under the alpha in a submissive position.
This method has been criticized for giving traumatic experiences to dogs. This is because of the punishments given when there are undesirable behaviors shown by the dogs during the training.
Experts even say that this method can make dogs even more aggressive and can even lead to causing them physical pain.
Since not all methods are for all kinds of dogs, this method should only be used if it is necessary. Otherwise trainers and dog parents may refer to the other modern dog training methods in this list.
2. Positive Reinforcement Training
The positive reinforcement training is one of the most popular of the types of dog training. Because it involves positive reinforcement given to dogs, which means giving them treats when they show desirable behavior.
For example if they follow the “sit” command then they will receive a treat.
This positive reinforcement dog training does not involve any punishment or any type of force to be used on your dog. It only involves rewarding desired behaviors.
And with this the dog will associate the positive behavior with the reward and will make the dog repeat this positive behavior more often.
This type of dog training has been favored by experts, trainers and dog parents. Since it strengthens the bond between the dog and the dog parent and does not do any harm to your dog.
The only negative aspect of this training method is that it takes time. Since the behavior needs to be repeated multiple times before the association with the reward sticks to your dog’s brain.
But the wait is worth it as it results in positive behaviors and good memories for both your dog and you.
3. Clicker Training
The clicker training involves the use of a “clicker” and a treat to reward the dog’s good behavior. The sound of a clicker serves as the marker for the good behavior and the treat that will follow.
The advantages of using this method is that the marker for good behavior is exact and the sound helps the dog recognize the behavior better and is a better marker than a vocal one like the word “yes” which can be said differently by different people.
This takes a lot of practice and should be timed properly during the training. So that the dog successfully associates the sound of the clicker with the treat and the good behavior that he needs to do in order to obtain the treat.
4. E-Collar Dog Training
The E-Collar dog training involves the use of an E-Collar that emits an electric charge, citronella spray or vibrations whenever the dog does an undesired behavior.
This is another dog training method that is considered bad and is not encouraged. There are clear flaws in this training method.
One is that there is no clear indication on what the correct behavior is, only the wrong behaviors are identified.
Another flaw is that it causes serious distress on the dog since if they receive frequent negative reinforcement they might be afraid to make any movement.
This is one type of dog training that should only be done if it’s really necessary. Otherwise, dog trainers or dog parents can refer to other modern dog training methods.
5. Model-Rival Dog Training
The model-rival dog training involves having two dogs. One is the model dog and the other dog is the dog that is going to copy the correct behaviors being “modeled”.
This is one of the types of dog training that is rarely used. Because it can take some time before the dog in training learns the behavior. And it may not be applicable to all the behaviors that dog parents or dog trainers would want to learn.
This training method can even seem like a social experiment since there are now two dogs that are involved in the training.
6. Relationship-Based Dog Training
This training method heavily relies on the relationship between the dog and the dog parent. And it is similar to the positive reinforcement dog training method.
This type of dog training involves learning dog body language and trains them according to the behavior they are showing and reward them with treats or any positive reinforcement.
The goal of the training is to keep the dog feeling secure and to create a better mutual understanding between the dog parent and the dog in training.
7. Science-Based Dog Training
This method involves basing the training in concepts that are based in empirical studies. This means constantly updating the way you train your dog based on new research done in the dog training field.
There are not a lot of studies done in dog training and it may take some time before new research would come to light.
But the common results in recent research show that positive or force-free training is the best way to train dogs. Because it strengthens the bond between the dog parent and the dog and it does not involve any harm to the dog whether physically or mentally.
All the different types of dog training have their own positive and negative sides. It is best to consider your dog’s individuality before choosing the training method that you will use in order to train them to perform desired behaviors.
It is best to use the positive reinforcement dog training since this is highly encouraged and is the most effective method. It also improves the bond between the dog and dog parent.
Now that we know the different dog training methods, let us now look at the different types of specialized dog training.
Specialty dog training is a specific training that a dog goes through in order to perform a certain job or activity with a specific goal or purpose. There are 8 types of specialized dog training.
What are the 8 types of specialized dog training? Let us look at them one by one.
1. Service training
What is Service training? It is one of the different types of dog training and it involves training dogs to serve a certain purpose, to be the missing piece of a person with disability.
This is one of the types of specialized dog training where a dog is trained to be the eyes, ears or legs of someone with a disability.
The most common service dogs are those who help blind people cross streets and help them go around in public places in general and help protect them. Though they are not ones who were trained under protection training.
Protection training will be discussed in this article as well, it is another one of the different types of dog training.
Dogs that undergo service training need to be alert and very good with socializing. Since they will be assigned to a specific person with a specific disabilities.
There are three common dog breeds for dogs that undergo service training and become service dogs. These are: Golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, German shepherds and American Staffordshire terrier.
Service training is a very important specialized training for dogs since it is crucial to help people in need. And this training takes time and effort and resources as well.
There are training agencies that train dogs to become service dogs for persons with disability. Service training will teach dogs the skills that they will need in order to assist a blind person, a deaf person, a diabetic person or a person with PTSD.
The needed skills for each type of service dog is very specific. That is why it takes years to finish this training and should only be done by professionals. This training should only be given to dogs that fit the needed temperament, and personality for service dogs.
2. Obedience training
Obedience training is one of the basic training that all dogs undergo with their dog parents and it involves basic commands like sit, stay and heel.
Dogs need to learn and regularly practice the basic commands that they learned from when they were still puppies.
Obedience training should always be reinforced. And dogs should be given exercise to stimulate them physically and mentally.
As young dogs, this is when their behaviors can still be shaped and developed. And this is an important time to teach them to be obedient to the commands of their dog parent.
In order to help them recognize that their dog parent will only want what is best for them, it is important to teach them this as early as possible to develop a trusting relationship with them.
Another important aspect of obedience training is to teach them to socialize with other dogs, animals and people.
Socialization helps dogs adjust to new environments well and will teach them to get used to social interactions. In order to also see how they behave and to teach them to avoid unwanted behaviors in the presence of other dogs, animals and people.
This is a basic training that each dog should have in order to fully develop their relationship with their dog parent.
And also to stimulate their mental health for them to develop a more healthy relationship as a pet during social events that they will go through in their life with their dog parent.
3. Agility training
Agility training is where dogs learn how to go through the different obstacles that we see in dog shows. This is a way to use the energy of dogs for productive activities that further develop their relationship with their dog parent.
There are different obstacles that dogs need to train for. And this will make it more challenging for dogs and more rewarding once they are able to master this certain obstacle.
Agility sporting events for dogs are very common and have a certain following for dog enthusiasts everywhere. There are star dogs that win a lot of these competitions through their hard work and training.
It is advised to have dogs undergo this training after they become 1 year old since the courses are not as simple as the basic commands. They need to have fully developed joints in order to make the jumps, runs, and weaving around poles.
The main goal of the agility training is for the dogs to be able to run the course without being lured with treats, but only with voice commands and body language.
This requires a lot of time and effort both on the part of the dog as well as the dog trainer or dog parent.
The courses or obstacles that the dog will go through should be adjusted depending on the size of the dog. This is to prevent any accidents during the training.
Aside from being an official sporting event for dogs, agility training can also be a fun way to physically and mentally stimulate dogs. And to give them a sense of achievement once they are able to successfully run through the agility course.
All dogs are intelligent and with dedication, commitment and effort, they can become champion dogs in these agility sporting events.
4. Behavioral training
Dogs are no different when it comes to their behaviors. Like humans, they can be trained to continue the good ones and avoid the bad ones.
In order to pass the Canine Good Citizen test, dogs need to be trained to be good dog citizens both when they are home and when they are outside.
There are behaviors that need corrections, especially the ones that involve physical harm like biting. This is an important behavior that should be corrected as early as possible to prevent any adverse effects on people who will be around your dog.
There are multiple behaviors that can be trained in your dog during behavioral training, aside from biting. Damaging furniture and appliances is another behavior that needs to be honed in dogs in order to prevent any negative effects in your living space.
Behavioral training can be conducted by trained professionals or dog behaviorists or can be done by their dog parent as well. It is considered as the next step that dogs need to go through after the obedience training.
It is another type of dog training that is considered essential. It should be done when a dog is still young, so that they can still unlearn these undesirable behaviors.
The main goal of behavioral training is to teach dogs good behaviors in order to be good citizens. And also to prevent any untoward events from happening as they live their lives as domesticated pets.
5. Therapy training
Therapy training is another important role that dogs play in helping human beings survive. This is a bit similar to the service training, in terms of its goal, which is to provide help to those in need.
The difference between service training and therapy training is that service training gives dog’s protection provided by the law. Dogs that undergo therapy training do not have this privilege.
Even though they are not protected by law, dogs that undergo therapy training and become therapy dogs are just as important if not more.
There are a lot of people in the world who are suffering and some of them need therapy dogs in order to survive and feel happy and comforted.
The role of therapy dogs is very crucial to help patients in hospitals survive and feel the need to live again.
That is why therapy training is very important and there is no specific dog breed needed. But there are some desired behaviors that need to come naturally to dogs in order to provide comfort and happiness to people who need it.
There is a specific test that dogs need to pass in order to become therapy dogs. But generally well behaved dogs with high irritant threshold should fare well in this test.
Therapy training is very important now, with all the bad things that are going on in the world. We cannot help but lose faith and need the will to live and get up every day.
This is what people are experiencing as well in hospitals and in other places who need therapy dogs. It is important that we find more therapy dogs who can help lift up the spirits of those in need, in order to bring more joy in this world.
As they say sometimes a little hug and feeling of appreciation goes a long way, and these feelings can be provided by therapy dogs.
6. Protection training
Another important role of dogs is to provide protection to people as we know dogs have the natural instinct to protect their owners and even their human family.
There is a specialized dog training that is meant to develop the dog’s skill in order to provide protection to the specific human that they are supposed to guard.
We know that this world is a very dangerous place and a lot of harm can come to people when they least expect it. Hence it is important to stay on guard, this is the main goal of protection training.
Dogs are trained to be the ultimate protectors of men. They will learn certain cues of when they will attack a person who is showing body language that can cause harm to the person they are in charge of protecting.
This is another type of dog training that will develop the physical and mental skills of a dog in order to recognize cues in the body language of people so that they will know how to react in order to guarantee the safety of the person that they are protecting.
This requires a lot of time and effort for the dog to be fully equipped to protect the person they are assigned to.
Dogs are definitely very important for mankind and they can even protect us from danger with the proper training and traits and natural protective instincts as well.
Dogs definitely deserve all the love that they give because as protection dogs, they even willingly give their lives in order to protect us. They truly are the epitome of givers of unconditional love and protection.
7. Tracking training
Tracking training focuses on the skill of dogs to identify certain scents and associate it with certain objects. And with this they are able to track this object.
Tracking training has been used by police and military for their canine unit. Dogs play an important role in keeping airports safe and they can even help find dangerous items like bombs in order to protect people.
This type of dog training helps dogs use their extra sensitive nose to look for objects that are lost, missing or stolen.
This can be helpful in police operations of finding lost objects and can even be used to find missing people or those who have been kidnapped.
Aside from looking for objects and people, it can also be used to find criminals who have escaped or dangerous drugs and bombs.
All the applications of tracking training for dogs provide very crucial services to people and can give a very important role to dogs in life or death situations.
The dogs who assist the police and military force are the ones who are considered as hero dogs as well. There are a lot of stories of dogs who became crucial parts of solving criminal cases and of protecting millions of lives.
This is another way dogs provide us with meaningful service and amazing dedication. They truly are treasures that should be protected at all costs because they provide valuable service in more ways than one.
8. Retrieving training
The last type of dog training is retrieving training. The most common dog breeds that undergo this training are Golden and Labrador retrievers.
The name of these breeds suggest that they are indeed naturals when it comes to retrieving items.
To become masters of retrieving items whether living or non-living, they need to undergo very specific training that teaches them to find the items and bring them back to their master or dog parent in good condition.
And they need to carefully retrieve them with their mouths, and to not bite the item, since this can damage the item.
Dogs that successfully finish retrieving training can be helpful in rescue missions and helping find missing people or important missing items.
This is an important training that dogs can undergo. And once they finish the training they can become an important addition to the police or military force.
This training can come hand in hand with the tracking training; this is common to Canine dog units as well as protection training.
All this training shows how important dogs are to the lives of human beings. They are not just ordinary pets but they are superheroes who assist us in all aspects of our lives.
Overall, all the different types of specialized dog training prove how helpful dogs can be once their skills are honed in the right way.
As we have mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is actually a wrong way to train dogs. And these methods can damage the mental and physical health of dogs and can even traumatize them.
It is important to truly understand your dog before providing them any type of training otherwise you might only do them more harm than good.
If you are unsure of how you can train your dog it is best to seek professional help or attend classes in order to learn how to properly train your dog.
Training is not just a one way process where the trainee will learn. It should be a two way process, the trainee and trainer will both learn and develop in this process which makes both of them better at the end of the training.
Dogs are complex creatures that learn and develop daily, as long as they are nurtured with proper reinforcement that do not degrade or damage them physically or mentally.
Training for dogs should be done positively for them to reach their full potential and reach greater heights of their skills.
Dogs definitely give more than what they receive and as humans we should be thankful for their existence. They are like angels without wings.
The effort that dogs put into their specialized training show how loving they are and how helpful they are as well.
As human beings we should give more love to dogs because they give humans so much love and they do not deserve any hate because they only know how to love.
The different specialized dog training shows how much potential dogs have and how intelligent they are when given the right tools and training.
They can definitely do more than just “sit” and “stay”, they can provide service, protection, comfort and most especially love.
Let us raise awareness about the different services dogs give to humans in order to promote kindness and more love to dogs who only give love to humans.
At the end of the day, we are measured by what we give and not by what we receive, and in this logic dogs deserve so much more than what is given to them now.
Not just dogs but all the other animals and even Mother Nature; all these resources on this planet deserve love, protection and kindness.
Let us spread love and awareness to all the good things that we have on this planet, because we are not sure until when we can have them, it may be too late. Let us start giving importance to them now.