If your dog has a big, boisterous personality, you might be concerned that training will change that. After all, isn’t training meant to whip your pooch into shape and force him to follow your orders? Well, not exactly. Yes, training will help your dog learn how to behave the way that you want him to, but it won’t change the very essence of his personality. Here’s what you should know about training and your dog’s personality.
Personality is not behaviour
Training helps correct problematic behaviours. Your dog’s personality may make him prone to engage in problematic behaviours, but training won’t actually change your pet’s personality. Instead, it will help your dog learn acceptable behaviour that will allow his personality to shine. For example, an untrained dog that gets excited when you come home may jump up at you in his excitement. This may be cute while he’s young, but it becomes problematic as he grows. Training removes the unwanted behaviour (jumping up), but it won’t affect his enthusiasm when he greets you.
Dogs crave discipline
Even the most boisterous pups crave order and discipline. They need a pack leader to show them how to behave. If you don’t step up as the pack leader, they become anxious and begin to display problematic behaviours. Training helps by showing your dog that you are clearly the pack leader. This provides security and stability for your pet, which can allow them to be their happy selves without the stress of bad behaviour.
Discipline (training) doesn’t have to be harsh
Discipline or training doesn’t have to be cruel or harsh to be effective. In fact, dogs respond better to gentle correction, persistence, and plenty of positive reinforcement. Dogs don’t understand harsh discipline techniques such as hitting or yelling--this only frightens and confuses them. But they do respond well to patience, calm and clear commands, and lots of praise. Use these techniques to curb unwanted behaviour and keep your pet’s charming personality in place.
For more tips on training your dog, or for general information on keeping your pet healthy and happy, contact your local Bark Busters trainer.