How Are Working Dogs Trained? How Are Working Dogs Trained? - SitStay

How Are Working Dogs Trained?

April 17, 2018 0 Comments

Dogs that provide a service, such as seeing-eye dogs and military dogs, or therapy dogs often undergo extensive training in order to perform their job. This type of training is typically done through an organization that specializes in teaching these dogs the skills they need based on the tasks they are expected to do. When you plan on having a working dog, should you go through an organization for training or handle the training on your own? Learn more about what it takes to have working dogs trained through organizations and through self-training, so you can decide which is best for your situation.



Organization Training for Working Dogs

Organizations that have working dogs trained begin by establishing basic obedience. Dogs must be able to follow commands before they can be trained to perform specific tasks. In order to successfully train working dogs, these organizations generally follow certain principles, such as being consistent when giving commands, remaining patient during training and staying positive. These principles help ensure that dogs have the best chance to learn to follow commands and perform tasks that range from simple to challenging.



Pros and Cons of Organization Training

Relying on an organization for training can make it easier for you when you get a working dog. Your dog should already know how to perform certain tasks and obey commands. This means you won’t have to worry about knowing how to train your dog correctly or having to spend time in order to go through the entire training process.



Keep in mind that you should ensure that you understand how your dog was trained so that you continue giving commands the same way as the organization did. Making any changes on your part that differ markedly from organization training might confuse your dog. The other drawback to organization training is that training can serve as an important bonding process between dogs and their owners. Having an organization train your dog for you means that you miss out on this opportunity. However, there are other ways that you and your working dog can bond.



Self-Training for Working Dogs

Working dogs can also be self-trained rather than having to go through an organization for training. When you self-train your dog, you have total control over the whole training process. You can move through this process at your own speed. Keep in mind that you should also follow the same principles as organizations do when having working dogs trained. Always be patient with your dog, maintain a positive attitude during training and use consistency when teaching your dog to follow different commands. These principles can make the training process go more smoothly for you while also keeping training sessions as stress-free as possible for you and your dog.



Pros and Cons of Self-Training for Working Dogs

When you decide to use self-training for your working dog, keep in mind that you should make sure that you know the proper way to train. Depending on the type of working dog you plan on having, you might need to focus on teaching different skills and commands. For example, training a seeing eye dog involves teaching the dog to guide their owner through varying situations, including crossing the street.



One of the biggest benefits of self-training your dog is that you can go through training at a pace that is comfortable for you and your dog. If your dog is having a hard time learning a certain task or command, you can take extra time for training. If your dog easily picks up on other tasks or commands, you can move along to another task or command. This self-guided training can keep training more positive for you and your dog.



Organization Training and Self-Training Similarities

There are certain similarities between organization training and self-training when having working dogs trained. In addition to patience, consistency and positivity, both types of training also require repetitiveness. Dogs learn by practicing tasks and commands until they are able to do them the right way. Even if your working dog goes through organization training, you can expect to continue repeating commands to ensure that they have been learned. Repetition keeps these tasks and commands fresh in your dog’s mind and reduces the risk that your dog might forget how to do them.



Another similarity is an emphasis on praise and rewards rather than punishment. Both organization training and self-training should place a focus on rewarding dogs for following commands or performing tasks as expected. Punishment, such as yelling or hitting, should never be done. Punishing working dogs as they go through training discourages them from behaving and can cause them to be fearful and possibly aggressive.



Whether you choose to use an organization for training or train your dog on your own, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each before deciding. This helps ensure that the method you choose to have working dogs trained will be effective for your situation. Just remember when it comes time to outfit your dog in the best working dog gear, SitStay.com has you covered!

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