Does a dog really need to go to dog school? Of course there is no compulsory schooling for human four-legged friends, so you can also try to raise your dog without dog school. In the following you can read what you have to consider and when professional help with dog training is available.
Raising a dog without a dog school: Requirements
Whether you can raise your dog or not without a dog school depends on you and your four-legged friend. It cannot be said in general that dog experienced owners automatically do without dog training. Nor are there dog breeds for which you generally do not need professional help with dog training. Like humans, dogs have different personalities and temperaments, even if they have breed-specific tendencies in their character. It is best to listen to your gut feeling - if you have the impression that the bond between you and your animal friend is characterized by trust, your dog willingly takes part in the training and pays attention to you, you do not need dog training.
However, there are a few things you can do before you buy and in the early days of your dog's arrival in their new home so that the best possible relationship develops between you. Find out in advance carefully and comprehensively about the dog breeds you like and see whether the four-legged friend really suits you and your life circumstances. Can you offer your dog the employment, time, care and housing conditions he needs? Alternatively, dogs from the animal shelter or animal welfare are also happy if you decide to adopt. The employees in the organizations generally know their charges well and will be happy to advise you on which dog is suitable for you. Above all, give puppies enough time to get used to them, but stick to the rules - if your dog is not allowed on the sofa, he must not be allowed to be a baby.
Are some dogs easier to train than dogs?
In principle, every dog can be raised, but for some breeds this is a little easier due to breeding than for others - with exceptions confirming the rule. For example, a so-called "will to please" was bred to the Labrador or Golden Retriever, the need to please their owners. It is therefore easier to motivate them to cooperate than, for example, Jack Russell Terriers, Dachshunds or Weimaraner, who are also supposed to make decisions independently when hunting and therefore have a certain stubbornness. Experienced dog owners usually get a better grip on this character tendency than beginners.
Dog breeds can also be divided into working dogs and companion dogs, among other things: working dogs - for example hunting dogs, sled dogs, shepherd dogs - usually require a lot of work and a task to be happy. Society dogs - such as most toy dog breeds - were primarily bred as pets that keep people company and bring them joy. They are usually a little easier to educate. However, they also need species-appropriate employment and have to learn behavior rules and commands - otherwise one day a visit to a dog school will not be missed.
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What do dogs learn in the dog school?
The question of what dogs learn at the dog school cannot be answered in general. There are many different dog schools with different training methods, educational philosophies and approaches. In addition, the terms dog school and dog trainer are not uniformly regulated by law, so that there may also be "black sheep". If you observe aversive training methods at a dog school, drilling and violence are used, you should rather look for another school. It can also be problematic if the dog school only uses positive reinforcement in the form of treats as a method of training - you run the risk that your dog will only show the desired behavior if he receives an edible reward for it afterwards.
Good, reputable dog schools and dog trainers try to strengthen the bond between humans and animals. They help you as the owner to understand your dog better and to express your commands and signals so that your four-legged friend understands what you want from him. A mixture of different, non-violent training methods makes sense, such as education through body language, verbal commands, playing and watching and the right amount of rewards. In small groups, your dog learns social behavior appropriate to the species - this works best if the groups are carefully put together so that the proportions and strengths match well so that there is no bullying. Otherwise, dog schools usually also offer special dog sport courses if you want to have fun with your four-legged friend.
When does a dog have to go to dog school?
Here you can best rely on your gut feeling again. If you notice that your dog simply does not understand you and you no longer know what to do, a specialist can help you. If behavioral problems have already crept in, instead of a dog school, it is advisable to take care of the dog trainer individually. Do not be afraid if you are at the end of your wisdom on how to raise your dog, and that without dog training.