Good training plays a crucial role to ensure a happy and successful relationship between you and your dog. Through training your dog will learn to understand what his human companions expect of him and be better equipped to fit into his environment. On the other hand, the better you understand your dog’s behaviour, the more rewarding your relationship will be.

What makes the dog such a favoured companion for man is that dogs, like man, are social animals. It is natural for a dog to live and interact within a group. Problems can, however, arise when we place human values upon dogs, and we should remember that dogs are dogs and not people.

What we often consider to be a ‘bad dog’ is, in fact, a normal dog behaviour that is being carried out at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Take for example digging. You would have no problem with a dog digging on the beach or in a field, but it would be a different story if he dug up a favourite flower bed or the lawn. All of this must be taken into consideration before blaming the dog for what he understands as normal behaviour.

Before looking into any behaviour/training problem you must first ask yourself – why is my dog doing this? We have the advantage over the dog in that we have the ability to understand canine values but he cannot understand ours. Therefore when tying to understand your dog’s behaviour you should base your conclusion purely on the dog’s values. It is not necessary to resort to punishment, but by understanding the dog he can be trained more easily

Although now domesticated, dogs of today still require a group or pack structure like their ancestors and wild relatives. Some dogs will naturally choose to follow, others will try to lead. However, in the canine-human pack it is imperative that the dog understands that he is lower ranking than any human, including children. And this understanding can be achieved through effective training.

One way in which dogs will communicate the hierarchy within a canine pack is by adhering to very basic rules. One example is that the “top dog” will eat first and rest in the best places, if he chooses to. These rules can be replicated in the human-canine relationship. One simple way of establishing and maintaining you and your family’s “top dog” status is by controlling the games you and your dog play. This means, for example, that you should always take possession of the toy at the end of play.

Dogs do not communicate like people. The dog to dog language is very different from the person to person language, and it is up to us human beings to try and learn how dogs communicate. Whilst people communicate mostly verbally, dogs communicate by way of signs and signal, by body language. To be effective trainers we need to read and understand our dogs’ body language.

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This information is referenced from the Waltham website which can be located at

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