What is a Dog Training Course Like?
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If you're thinking of taking a dog training course or class, it's very important that you do some research beforehand about the topics that you are going to be taught. This way, when you look for a school you'll be able to study their course outlines and be able to tell whether they are traditional, modern, or approach the subject from an animal rights perspective.
We at AnimalWised will detail the most important points that every dog training school should offer by explaining what is a dog training course like. Keep reading and find out everything related to the outline of dog education and training.
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Most people wonder what is a dog training course like and believe they will immediately address behavioral problems, obedience commands and many other advanced aspects of the dog's education. It's true that these are very important, but so is learning more about the dog as an animal, that is, its biology and morphology.
Knowing about the different dog breeds and their physical structure is crucial in understanding behavioral details and the specific care required by each animal. For example, a molosser dog like the Pug, the Boxer, or the Dogue de Bordeaux will find it more difficult to breathe, so it will be very important not to expose it to the sun. Herding dogs, such as the German Shepherd, the Border Collie or the Malinois, will need extra mental stimulation to avoid suffering from behavioral problems.
These are just some basic aspects, but they are very important in order to work properly with a dog. Not knowing certain aspects of canine morphology can be a serious obstacle if you want to become a dog trainer. Here are some elements you should be familiar with before starting a dog training course:
- How are dogs classified into types and groups?
- How often should you walk your dog and what to avoid when doing so.
- Positive reinforcement in dogs.
National and statal legislation
Another very important detail to consider when looking for a dog training course or class is the current legislation regarding dogs. It is essential to know about the regulations on possession and rights of these animals in order to advise those who want to contract your services as a dog trainer in the future.
Some of the most important points are:
- Universal animal rights and welfare
- Law in your country of residence
- Municipal ordinances
- Occupational hazards
- Regulations in animal care and accommodation centres
- Responsibilities of citizens
Ethology is defined as the biological and psychological study of animals, whether in the wild or in an artificial medium. Knowing the natural behavior of dogs is essential in order to address their requirements and any problems that may arise.
This type of training needs to be delivered by a canine ethologist, meaning a certified veterinarian who is trained in ethology. Until fairly recently, it was considered reasonable to compare the natural behavior of wolves with that of dogs. However, the more than 3,000 years of domestication and most recent ethological studies show a clear split in the behavior of the two. Biology alone is not enough when studying animals.
Some of the most important aspects studied by canine ethology are:
- Hunting behaviour
- Social behaviour
- Sexual behaviour
Assessing the dog's behavior
Before you start working with a dog, it is very important to be able to make a diagnosis of the animal's current condition, most commonly known as an ethogram. This analysis allows you to see if there are any behavioral problems or not.
When you do a dog training course, you'll be taught the following:
- Natural dog behaviour
- Psychological development
- Intelligence and learning
- Behavioural disorders
- Control exercises
Dog training is one of the most important points of the course. Unlike ethologists or dog educators, the primary function of a good trainer is to be able to use effective training methods without resorting to methods of punishment. Take note of the following points:
- Puppy education
- Socialization of puppies and adult dogs
- Bite inhibition
- Basic commands
- Walking together
- Picking up objects
- Using the clicker
- Tracking and searching
- Protection and defence
- Dog sports
Modification of behaviors
It is vitally important to understand, know about and be able to treat behavioral problems in dogs. This is another of the most important points of a dog training course, as many people are responsible for dogs with serious behavioral issues.
Altering a dog's behavior isn't always possible, but different techniques can be used to try and redirect the animal towards more appropriate behavior and helping its well-being. Besides being able to understand and work with a dog, it will also be very important to treat their owners properly.
These are some of the most common behavioral problems:
Care and diet for dogs
As we discussed in the first point, it is very important to have detailed knowledge about dogs; you need to be familiar with their psychological complexities in order to know if it is suffering from a behavioral problem or not, but also about its physical requirements.
For example, a dog who is hungry or suffering from joint pain or a flea infestation will be more reluctant to follow your obedience commands. This is only a minor problem, but you should be able to identify it in order to resolve both the cause and the related issues.
You need to consider:
- Types of dog food
- Nursing and diet for prematurely weaned puppies
- Eating disorders
- Cleaning and disinfection of utensils
- Travel carriers
- Brushing and grooming
- Thorough review of the dog's eyes, skin, ears, mouth and paws
- Internal and external parasites
- Healthcare documentation
- Vaccination schedules
- The five freedoms of animal welfare
First aid for dogs
If you're taking a dog training course, you will probably receive first aid classes as well, even if you don't become a veterinarian. This is extremely useful, especially if you want to train dogs professionally.
Among the most important things your dog training course should teach we can find:
This is our answer to what are dog training courses like, but if you've ever taken one that taught different things please tell us in the comments section!
If you want to read similar articles to What is a Dog Training Course Like?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.
- Stay clear of courses that teach inappropriate methods, such as punishment.
- Check the professional credentials of the person who is delivering the course.
- Choose in-person training over online courses.