Italiano: Izrafel Maya di Altobello

Italiano: Izrafel Maya di Altobello (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once your young dog has learned the basics of how to behave in a socially acceptable manner, its time to move on to more advanced dog training. Just what you will teach your dog, and how far you will take it’s training, depends on several considerations. First of all, what do you expect? Have you a special role in mind for the dog? Or do you just want it to learn some more advanced obedience skills? Much depends on your goals in owning your dog, and what if anything you expect it will contribute to your work or your hobbies: a guide dog, rescue dog, herding dog, gun dog, guard dog, whatever.

If you have specific plans, your training objectives and program will follow logically. The breed of your dog may determine what you can teach it, and how high you should set your expectations. Some dog breeds have been developed for show ring appearance at the expense of performance. Others have been bred to perform certain tasks better than others. The genetic material you are working with will largely determine what you can accomplish with your dog. It is far easier to train it to perform in ways that come naturally than to try and impose behaviors that seem strange and unnatural to the dog. It is a simple fact of life that a border collie will naturally want to herd stock, while a retriever will want to recover ducks you shoot. A setter or pointer will want to quarter the ground in front of you to search out game birds, while a greyhound will want to chase rabbits and hares at speed.

A dobermann pinscher will be especially alert to strangers, while a terrier is more likely to become extremely interested in digging up a rabbit hole. A dog bred for the show ring may seem to wonder what these other dogs are on about, and reveal no such specialized interests. The majority of rough coated collies of “Lassie” fame, for example, long ago lost most of the genes that once made them successful working dogs on sheep farms, as they were increasingly bred instead more for their appearance in the show ring than their herding performance. It is true that any dog can be trained to do almost whatever you want, but some things come more naturally to some breeds than to others. If you set your expectations consistent with your breed, and train to reinforce what comes naturally to that breed, you are likely to be far more satisfied with both the training process and the outcome. Beyond the basics of obedience common to all breeds, it is a lot easier if you go with the flow and you encourage your dog to build on the natural advanced skills it has inherited from generations of breeding selection. If your dog is simply to be a companion, you may decide to be content to limit your advanced training to a few useful or entertaining “tricks”. Most dogs enjoy basic retrieval tasks, for example, and exhibit far more patience and energy for the repetitive chasing of balls and sticks than you have. Channeling that energy into collecting the morning paper from the front yard has much to commend it as a training objective, to make one possible suggestion, though this particular task may be a challenging concept for some breeds to get their heads around.

Whatever you choose to focus on will work much better if it becomes a routine part of your dog’s daily life. You could consider advanced competitive obedience or agility training, which is a recreational and social activity pursued by many dog owners. There are clubs in most cities. This activity challenges all dogs, but you will find some breeds have a natural advantage over others in these sports. If you take up the sport to win, you should choose your breed accordingly. Showing your dog is another popular competitive club activity, especially with breeders, and requires your dog to learn presentation skills.

Just being an acceptable companion requires certain skills and familiarity with routines to be developed by your dog. Simply not running off when you take him along for a jog around the park, sitting quietly in the back of the car when you are driving, refraining from jumping all over visitors, sitting on the mat in front of the fire and not on your favorite chair, chewing a bone not your slippers, and other such learned behaviors, are themselves useful advanced social skills that can be taught. The value to you of acceptable, predictable and reliable behavior by your dog should not be underestimated as a training goal. It can develop into quite a sophisticated and challenging pattern of behavior to learn. The benefits are great if your dog is to maintain good relationships with all members of your family as they go about their daily lives.

Solve your dog behavior problems now:¬†Discover expert tips and tricks to turn your dog or puppy into a reliable, obedient and well behaved family pet and companion. You don’t have to put up with those annoying behavior problems when you know how to deal with them.


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