Dog Training – Introduction

In this unit we shall examine dog training from several viewpoints, take a look at typical training exercises and concepts and discuss the differences (if there are any) between training and behaviour. 

Dog training really began with initially breeding dogs to carry out specific tasks and then putting them through a minimal training programme in order to control the dogs’ instinctive behaviours. 

Early gundog training placed importance on breeding the correct type of dog for the work in hand and then exploiting these naturally occurring behaviours through control training.  If you research gundog training over the last two centuries you will find it exceedingly difficult to locate any published information on how to train a retriever to retrieve if it did not show this natural ability early in life!  Even now if you try to find a chapter on retrieve training in a gundog training book you will find that few trainers seem to know how to get a dog to retrieve if it does not want to go out to pick up a toy.  Many of the early gundog trainers were very harsh in the way they obtained control over their dogs and this is reflected in modern times by the number of gundog trainers, particularly in the USA, who make use of electric shock collars (electronic stimulation devices).


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