What is a Dog Training Course Like?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. February 22, 2017
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.

Don't forget to leave a comment to ask us any questions!

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Dog morphology

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:

What is a Dog Training Course Like? - Dog morphology

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

Canine ethology

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:

  • Instinct
  • Senses
  • Hunting behaviour
  • Social behaviour
  • Sexual behaviour
What is a Dog Training Course Like? - Canine ethology

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
  • Obedience
  • Behavioural disorders
  • Control exercises

Dog training

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:

What is a Dog Training Course Like? - Dog training

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:

  • Fear
  • Separation anxiety
  • Stress
  • Territorial behavior
  • Aggressiveness
  • Compulsive barking
  • Compulsive destruction
  • Depression
  • Coprophagia
  • Stereotypies

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:

What is a Dog Training Course Like? - Care and diet for dogs

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.

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What did you think of this article?
shammy p
I liked that you said that there are techniques that could be used in order for dogs to have more appropriate behaviors. This is what I will share with my sister so she can find a dog training class for her 3-month old Shi Tzu. She has been complaining about her shoes and carpets getting damaged because of her dog, so it will make sense for her to find an obedience class for it.
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Fabulous article. I just love it. It is good done by you really.
Arthur DeMarco
My wife and I recently got a dog, and we're deciding whether to enroll him in training or not. Thanks for the fascinating look into the dog training world. I feel more informed and ready to make a decision after reading this article.
Administrador AnimalWised
Thank you for your comment Arthur and we are very glad we could help!

For more information on dog training you can look at these articles attached:

Stay tuned for more information!
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