Whose easiest to train, the dog or their owner?

The dogs who are easiest to train are the ones with the owners who practice the most.

by Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Cynologist

After being a dog trainer for over three decades, I’ve gotten accustomed to people asking me about my career. Usually, it has to do with, “Which kind of dog is the easiest to train?”, “Have you ever had a dog you couldn’t train?” and “Are you afraid of dogs who might bite you?”

While these queries might seem unrelated, they all have a common answer. The prime difficulty experienced in being a dog trainer is not with the dog… it’s their owners who usually present the challenge.

So what are my answers? Very simple. The dogs who are easiest to train are the ones with the owners who practice the most. The only beings I had problems with training were human, not canine. And as far as being bitten, I have a deep respect for dogs and do everything in my power to work on building their respect with me, so I don’t get bitten.

I can come each week and teach the dog the right way to behave. I can teach the person how to enforce each behavior as a way of life on a day-to-day basis when I’m not there. But if “homework” is not done each day, the dog will think he only has to behave during lessons. Equally important, owners who do practice daily are usually pleasantly surprised at how quickly the behavioral issues with their dog diminish.

Thankfully, the humans I work with are realistic people who realize that they must put some effort into their dog’s training.

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