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Dog Training Information

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There are many different styles and techniques of dog training. Choose a method of training and stick to it – if you switch from one type of training to another your dog will get confused and not learn the proper behavior. It is important that you start training your dog as soon as possible. Dogs of all ages can be trained, including puppies and senior dogs. Most libraries have a selection of dog training books and videos. There are also training videos online. On this page you will find descriptions of books, videos, websites, and terms that may help you choose a method for training your dog. These are not the only options available, but they might help you decide which type of training is best suited to you and your dog. Each dog has its own unique personality and characteristics. Your training approach may vary to accommodate the traits of your particular dog.

Rewards-based Training:

One philosophy of dog training is “rewards-based training.” This works on the concept of positive reinforcement, which means that a dog will increase a behavior that is consistently rewarded. The reward can be praise (petting and talking to the dog), food, or a toy. There are no negative actions to be taken, such as yelling, scolding, hitting, or making loud noises with objects (such as banging a rolled-up newspaper), even if the dog is not doing what it is being asked to do. Eventually, once a dog is fully trained, the dog will able to respond to commands without a reward each time.

Clicker training is a common type of rewards-based training. The dog is taught to associate a certain clicking noise with a positive reward. The click can then be made during training to immediately reward the dog.

Pack Mentality:

This is the belief that dogs innately behave as if in a pack, like their wolf ancestors. They operate in a hierarchy, with a leader to take charge. Problems arise when the dog, instead of the human, becomes the leader of the family pack. Proper dog training teaches the dog that the owner is the leader. This may be done using rewards-based training or other methods.


Arden, Andrea. Dog-Friendly Dog Training . New Jersey: Howell Book House /Wiley Publishing, Inc., 2007
      Rewards-based approach
      Use of leash for safety only, not for punishment (no jerking)
      Critical of hierarchical or pack-mentality approach
      Agrees with clicker training, verbal reinforcement, touch/affection, and food reinforcement
      Pro-crate training

Benjamin, Carol Lea. Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog . New York City: Howell Book House/Wiley Publishing, 1985
      Pack-mentality approach - especially noticing how the mother dog shapes her puppy’s behavior.
      Emphasis on the influence of imprinting, especially how puppies imprint on the mother dog, and how to use this information to help humans train dogs.
      Encourages verbal or physical rewards (but no hitting or rolled newspapers), and no food rewards (mother dogs do not reward with food)

McConnell, Patricia B. The Other End of the Leash . New York: Ballantine Books, 2002
      Focus on using our bodies to communicate with our dogs – using movements and signals similar to those that dogs use with each other
      Use your voice tone to convey your meaning

Mehus-Roe, Kristin, editor. Dog Bible . Irvine, CA: Bowtie Press, 2005
      A dog owner’s guide to everything – breed specifics, behavior and training problems, health issues, and anything else you might need
      Pack mentality based
      Details about training puppies and how to train dogs as they mature
      Every dog owner should have this book!

Millan, Cesar. Cesar’s Way . New York: Harmony Books, 2006
      Pack-mentality approach
      Emphasis on correcting hierarchies within the family, so that the owners become the alpha leaders instead of the dogs.
      His motto: “Dogs need exercise, discipline, affection”

Coren, Stanley. The Intelligence of Dogs . New York City: The Free Press/MacMillan Inc., 1994
      Stresses variations in trainability depending on the breed.
      Each breed has innate characteristics that must be considered
      Info from AKC records of obedience competitions


“Dog Training the John Fisher Way.” Delta Entertainment, 2004
      Pack-mentality based
      Emphasis on innate traits of specific breeds
      Food rewards
      Tips on how to choose best dog for your family
      Tips on how to introduce a dog to the vet for the first time

Geller, Tamar. “The Loved Dog Way of Training.” New Video Group Inc., 2008
      Rewards-based training
      Food as positive reinforcement paired with verbal commands and hand signals
      Emphasis on dog’s innate drive for pleasure and play
      Wolf study – rough play, learn through play
      How to train our dogs through play which is natural for dogs

“Home School Dogs.” By Echo Bridge Home Entertainment, 2009
      Movie is divided into brief segments hosted by Brian Kilcommons
      Rewards-based training - with food, verbal praise, and affection
      Emphasis on “physical placement” or “pressure techniques,” meaning gently moving the animal into the position that matches the word or signal you are teaching
     Discouragement of punishment as a technique

Margolis, Matthew. “Woof: a guide to dog training” with Matthew “Uncle Matty” Margolis. Laurie Donnelly/WGBH Boston Video, 2006
      “Uncle Matty” from TV series on dog training
      Motto: “Love – Praise – Affection”
      No punishment ever; only commands, corrections, and praise
      “Custom Dog Training” – the unique traits of each breed, the size of the animal, and personality of each dog determine the choice of
           training techniques.

Millan, Cesar. “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, The complete first season” and “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, 5 Exciting Episodes! Focus: Aggression.” MPH Entertainment and Emery/Sumner Productions, 2004
      Focus on dogs with severe behavior problems
      Pack-mentality based
      Rewards used as well as custom-designed techniques for particularly difficult pets
      Breed-specific advice for dogs regarding their innate characteristics due to their breed

Roberts, Diana. “Our Good Dog: Pet Training.” Our Good Dog, Inc., 2006
      Structured 7-week program with basic instructions and weekly “homework” assignments
      Rewards-based training
      How to teach dog to recognize verbal commands and hand signals

Robinson, Amy. “Drool School: Family Dog Training” Carry-Tale Productions, 2009
      Geared for families with young children
      Rewards-based training
      Teaches owners to assert their positions of leadership with their dogs, “Be a leader!”

Internet links to dog training resources:

Perfect Paws
Numerous articles and videos about dog training, and some information about cats

e-training for dogs
Online dog training courses

Dog Obedience Training
Numerous articles and videos about training dogs at different ages, and reviews of dog training books and techniques

Ty Brown’s Dog Behavior Online
Online dog training videos, and dog training books for sale

Doggie’s Paradise
8-week online training course

Dog Training Guide
Articles and information about dog behavior and dog training

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