The chess moves of dog training

Disclosure: Our recommendations are based on our testing, research and analysis. We may earn a commission on products purchased using links on this page.

With the proper dog training tools and methods, no dog should be an obedience school dropout

By Laura Pakis, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and Cynologist

No dog ought to be an obedience school dropout.

I should know.  I’m a retired professional dog trainer.

Success at dog training is more than teaching a dog. 

Success at dog training is more than teaching a dog.  It’s what you do and how you do it that results in a sociable, well-mannered dog.

Yet, to get dog training’s true value, one must have a clear idea of what is required.  For each person, how their dog is now and how their dog will be once it is trained offers a unique understanding of “training.”  Once you, as the dog owner, begin the training process, the outcome you seek may change or grow, but every goal has to begin with a vision of something.

There is both an “ART” and a “SCIENCE” to dog training. 

A good trainer knows the ‘art’ component evolves from communicating successfully to both the same species (the owners) and the foreign one (the dog). It looks a bit like magic when you see effective communication transform a dog from an obnoxious liability to a calm, controllable, and loving companion.  The competent trainer’s ability to get his ‘information’ across to the dog is the ‘magic’ part.  Like a skillful chess move, transforming that information into a salient image for the owners requires knowledge and skill.

The ‘science’ comes from studying dog behavior.  Why do dogs do what they do? A competent trainer not only understands why but is intuitive to the necessary changes that need to occur to intervene, avert, and ultimately eliminate inappropriate behaviors.

They also realize they need to prepare the dog for the real world using real-life distractions.  This preparation requires various training methods and techniques appropriate for their dog’s personality and temperament.

To an untrained eye, dog training looks easy when watching the ‘dance’ between handler and animal. The trainer is portraying the skill and knowledge amassed over many years and many dogs. Not just the puppies, but the adults too. The dangerous ones and the easy ones. Each dog is an equal contributor to a trainer’s skills and education.

Having a well-mannered dog is a process.

Having a well-mannered dog is a process.  And love and affection alone won’t train a dog.

For dog training to be successful, the dog owner must work at home to change patterns and behaviors as instructed by the trainer.  The owner’s willingness and ability to follow a dog trainer’s instructions are essential for success.

Also, the dog owner must be motivated and consistent in working with their dog for any program to be effective.  Practicing daily a minimum of 15 minutes at home and utilizing everyday living commands is crucial in achieving complete on and off-leash control.

This may seem a lot, but the time and energy invested will determine how much an owner and their dog can accomplish —-a small outlay to reap benefits and rewards for many years.

Let’s talk dogs, or even better, let’s learn about dogs.  Set aside some time to receive Spike’s dog blogs by Acme Canine.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Please give us feedback on this post:

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Down to earth, common sense, proven DOG advice
Welcome to Spike’s Dog Blog by Acme Canine. Throughout the site, you will find a variety of helpful dog training articles, insightful dog behavior tips, and truthful product reviews from nationally-recognized canine trainers and professionals.