Wednesday, April 16, 2014
From the desk of Sharda Baker.
Hi and welcome everyone!
This is Sharda with dog training newsletter!
Here we go!
As your puppy grows into a dog, you will come to learn his temperament, so let’s learn the different dog temperaments!
If you are buying an older dog, the previous owner (or shelter) may be able to tell you about his temperament.
Temperament should be learned when you have a new pet so be prepare to learn more and be guided well with these training tips below.
A dog’s temperament is the manner in which your dog thinks, behaves, and reacts.
Obviously, you want a dog with a good temperament.
Some of a dog’s temperament is inherited, but much of it will depend on how he was raised. You could have a well-respected breed, but if he was not raised properly as a puppy, he may not exude a good temperament.
The amount of compassion and attention you give your dog will help with his temperament. As will the way you condition and train him.
So what does a dog’s temperament consist of? Trainers and veterinarians have studied a number of traits for years, and typically these traits are a good mixture of both mental and physical traits.
A dog’s temperament actually can be tested. In fact, many animal rescue groups test a dog’s temperament before it is made available for adoption. They perform a series of tests and the dog is rated on his responses.
This is so future owners will know the character of the dog to be able to find the best match possible.
From these temperament tests, trainers can identify if a dog is responsive, nervous, aggressive, independent, etc.
In this chapter we will look at some of the more common temperament characteristics.
When a dog shows aggression, he is using a means of defense. There are two types of defense—attack and retreat. A dog with an attack aggression assumes all people, excluding his owner, is an enemy.
A dog who retreats will withdraw from the situation. It is ideal for a dog to be in the middle of the range—one that will never attack or retreat, but will be even tempered with everyone.
Animal aggression is not a good trait for your dog and it is hard to correct once it has been established. Dogs will fight over food, social status, and sexual rivalry. They also love to chase other animals.
These situations surface the instinctive animal aggression of dogs that lived in the wild.
There are two very common reasons for animal aggression. The first is reason is when a dog was not given the opportunity for plenty of socialization as a puppy.
The second reason is that he was not corrected and handled properly by his owner when the aggression first started.
As a dog owner, you need to watch for signs of animal aggression and then take the steps to prevent it from developing.
This is a fear that a dog exhibits when he becomes extremely concerned about something. You will notice this if your dog begins to pant very rapidly. A dog will demonstrate this anxiety when he has an unpleasant or shocking experience.
He can also show anxiety if he lives in a home where there is a lot of tension and arguments. However, when the tension lifts and the arguments go away, the dog will usually return to normal.
All dogs possess this natural characteristic, but some have more of it than others. Attentiveness needs to be developed and this can be done through regular and disciplined training.
Dogs with this trait are usually suspicious or nervous. They also exhibit aggression, sometimes protective aggression. They are oftentimes referred to as “fear biters” but are only likely to bite when they are frightened or cornered.
This is a very important characteristic to be aware of when you are doing dog training. Some dogs have are highly sensitive and a light tug on the leash is all they need to respond.
Other dogs with lower body sensitivity won’t respond as well. This lower body sensitivity would result from small, light tugs over a lengthy period of time. The dog has become so “immune” to the tugs that when a firm tug is given, it doesn’t affect him in the slightest.
CAPACITY TO LEARN
Some breeds have a greater capacity to learn than others. However, if a dog has a good temperament—no matter what breed he belongs to—he will usually have a good capacity to learn from dog training.
Even dogs in the breeds with a high capacity to learn will learn at different rates—some will learn quickly and some learn slowly.
This characteristic develops gradually over time after the dog has participated in training for a few weeks. Before training, he has nothing to really focus on, so it would be unfair to say “my dog can’t concentrate” if he has not had any training.
A dog with good concentration will focus on the task at hand whether it is training, walking on a leash, or playing. A dog with poor concentration looks around with no specific purpose or focus.
With a good trainer, a dog’s concentration can be developed to an extent, but the dog also needs to have a willingness to concentrate.
A curious dog is one that can more easily conquer his fears. If a dog shows signs of curiosity, over time he will become braver as you encourage him to approach things that cause him fear.
DOMINANCE & SUBMISSIVENESS
The dominance characteristic goes back to dogs living in large packs and their position on the social status ladder. The most dominant dog was always the leader.
If you are going to have more than one dog in your house, it is best if you have two dogs that are not on the same “step” of the ladder. For example, fights are more likely to develop between two leader-type dogs or two very submissive dogs.
Every dog has his own mental and physical energy level. Some dogs have so much energy that it is almost impossible for the owner to control him. Other dogs have very little energy, so they need a lot of motivation.
Dogs with an abundance of energy can burn off some of this through excessive and disciplined training. This will help the dog be productive and settle down.
Puppies are usually very excitable and this is perfectly normal. If a puppy never shows signs of excitement, there could be something seriously wrong.
Older dogs show excitability when they have been indoors for a long period of time or if there is a lot of tension in the home. For dogs that show excessive excitability, make sure that he is taken out often for walks.
Be sure to remain calm when you are controlling him. Yelling at him or exerting force on him will only make him more excited.
Hearing sensitivity is similar to body sensitivity in that it can fall anywhere between low and high. Most dogs have a hearing sensibility that is in the medium to high range.
Therefore, dogs are quite receptive to your voice tone. If you use too harsh of tone and volume on a highly sensitive dog, then he could be heartbroken. This makes it a real challenge to train.
Dogs with a very low hearing sensitivity are also quite difficult to train. They get like this when their owner has been inconsistent with their training or when the owner is a real nag. They eventually start to ignore their owner.
The jealousy trait was also discussed back in Chapter One. Jealously usually rises when the owner is giving their attention to another dog. Jealously can eventually lead to aggression.
It is very natural for a dog to become protective of their owners and their home. They can become protective of other possessions inside and outside of the house too.
Some owners unintentionally allow their dogs to become too protective, or even encourage the behaviour. However, too much protection can actually be quite dangerous.
A stubborn dog is one that will just sit there and not do anything that you want him to. This can make training exercises very difficult. As an owner you need to exercise your authority and when your dog participates in the training, award him.
I hope you learned a lot from today’s Dog training newsletter.
I will be back for more!