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K9 Training #awareness - Introduction to "Man's best friend."

Updated: Feb 25, 2022

What comes to your mind when you hear K9?

- Guard dog

- Perimeter guarding

- Protection dog

- Service Dog

This article will outline eight specialized types of training dogs can undergo to gain specific skills from various tasks, jobs, and service areas. These types of training go far and beyond the basic commands and require a good set of basic skills even to attempt.

Before we start discussing these eight specialized training types, we will discuss four styles of dog training that are common and applied in most dog training programs.

Four Styles of Dog Training

Every dog trainer has a style that they prefer. The training style could be a particular training tool or just how they communicate with dogs they're training. Depending on their personality, some types of training might work better with some dogs.

1. Positive Reinforcement – This is all about rewarding good behavior. When using this style of dog training, you avoid punishing the dog for destructive behaviors, instead, redirect them and only reward the dog for good behaviors with treats, praise, and toys.

2. Dominance Training – This training method focuses on you being the alpha of the pack; your dog is your subordinate. This training method requires you to walk in front of your dog, be the first to go through doors, and eat before your dog does.

3. E-Collar Training – Utilizes an electric collar to correct unwanted behaviors. The collar can shock, vibrate, or make a noise, depending on what you prefer and how the dog reacts. They have a remote that allows you to punish the dog from afar the moment it acts up.

4. Clicker Training – Is essentially signaled positive reinforcement. The clicker signals the dog that it has done what you want, indicating that it is time for a reward. While this is great for teaching new behaviors and tricks, it is not the best method for stopping behaviors you don't want.

The 8 Specialized Types of Dog Training

These types of training are far more advanced than basic commands. Not every dog will be able to advance to these types of specialized training, though some special dogs can excel in such training and perform admirably at the tasks they get trained in. It also takes a specialized trainer to prepare dogs in this training area; inexperienced dog owners won't have the skills necessary to work with dogs on such a level.

1. Obedience Dog Training

Every dog should undergo obedience training, at least on a basic level. Obedience training should begin early in life with the most straightforward sit and stay commands. This training prepares your dog for social situations.

2. Behavioural Dog Training

This training focuses on helping your dog unlearn bad behaviors that you don't want to see. It stops behaviors like digging, excessive barking, biting, poor walking skills, accidents in the house, and much more.

3. Tracking

When the dog uses its nose to find something based on scent, some breeds are skillful and can track many different things, such as tracking as a sport or game, letting the dog track down animals for a hunt, and even tracking bombs or drugs in serious situations.

4. Therapy Training

Therapy dogs are not service dogs. Instead, they provide comfort to people in vulnerable positions, such as extremely sick people in hospitals or those who are dying. Therapy dogs require exceptional training to ensure they are calm, gentle, and friendly with strangers.

5. Agility Training

Is the training you do to enable your dog to run through agility courses. You will be taking the dog over, around, and through different obstacles, providing excellent mental and physical stimulation. Commonly used obstacles include:

  • Jumping.

  • Weaving in and out of poles.

  • Running through a tunnel.

  • Running up and down a seesaw.

6. Service Training

This type of training empowers the dogs to perform service work. Service dogs are valuable tools for people in need that make their lives far more comfortable and manageable. Some examples of service dogs include mobility assistance dogs, hearing dogs, guide dogs, PTSD dogs, diabetic alert dogs, and many more. The dog will need specific training for one condition, and it takes many years of training to prepare thoroughly.

7. Protection Training

Protection training teaches dogs to be guard dogs and protectors. The dog will need to have certain natural traits that work with such a job, including courageousness, suspicion of strangers, confidence, and even some independence. Some breeds are better suited for protection training than others.

8. Retrieving

Hunters mostly use a retrieving dog; retrieving is a specific type of training, and certain breeds are best for this task, including Golden and Labrador Retrievers. The dog can't bite or attempt to eat the animal. It must be gentle with its mouth, and if you are hunting close to the water, it can swim out to retrieve.

With the right skills and approach, you can train dogs of any age to perform all sorts of tasks. Dogs are unique and can be trained for specific skills that make them excellent helpers in a wide range of fields.

The above shows how strong the connection is between humans and dogs, and dogs help people in important ways. Below is an ending quote and some food for thought as we conclude on "man's best friend."

CHIEN. — Il semble que la nature ait donné le chien à l'homme pour sa défense et pour son plaisir. C'est de tous les animaux le plus fidèle : c'est le meilleur ami que puisse avoir l'homme.

Translated, this reads.

DOG. — It seems that nature has given the dog to man for his defense and for his pleasure. Of all the animals, it is the most faithful: it is the best friend man can possibly have. ~ Voltaire Dictionnaire philosophique of 1764

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