What is Personality Based Dog Training?
In short, Personality Based Dog Training is making adjustments in your training methods to suite each dog’s individual personality. My training success over the past 30+ years has been due to tailoring my approach to each dog’s individual personality.
Many dog trainers have just one approach. They use that one method and the same tools on every dog. The problem with this kind of thinking is that, like humans, all dogs do not learn in the same way. They also do not learn at the same rate.
5 Basic Personalities
I break down the basic personalities of dogs into five groups.
- Afraid of Everything
- Shy / Timid
- Mellow /Not a Care in the World
- Extremely Reactive
Some dogs are so afraid that when they are treated with a harsh training method they simply shut down. When this happens they are then deemed to be untrainable or stupid. If this happens in a shelter or rescue, they are usually the first to be put down.
On the other end of the spectrum is the extremely reactive dog. Dogs with this personality cannot be trained with gentle leadership because they cannot stay focused. They see everything in their environment as a threat or something that needs to be addressed immediately.
Other dogs fall into the mellow or excitable category. Mellow dogs often need some kind of motivation to perform. And excitable dogs often need a more insistent tone to keep them on task or to get them to follow commands.
Different Dogs Mean Different Training Solutions
Some dogs fall clearly into the personality categories listed above. Other dogs are harder to identify or may actually fit into several categories. Before you begin training, I suggest you ask a trainer or an animal behaviorist to give you an assessment test.
If you are planning to hire a trainer, be sure to ask them how they plan to approach training and which personality your dog is.
Because dogs have different personalities, they all learn differently. All dogs will benefit from structure, routine, and consistent enforcement of rules and boundaries.
Dogs have been bred for hundreds of years to work for humans. As a result, they are also looking to us for benevolent leadership. Techniques that include screaming, threatening, and inflict pain or fear are never a good solution. These techniques will only create a behavior problem or make existing issues worse.
If you are looking for a trainer that can help you better connect with your dog, and will put together and implement a training program based around your dog’s personality, we should talk.
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