The Importance of Canine Training

Canine training is about transforming your relationship with your canine and allowing it to experience a positive existence in the human world that surrounds it.  Objectives in training can range, depending on the circumstances.  The basis of all training should be a foundation of a positive relationship between human and canine; obtaining life skills that teach you and your canine the proper canine behavior to adapt to various social situations in a safe manner for both the canine and the humans; how to avoid problem behaviors and a means to allow the canine to achieve a level of calmness and ability to make the right decision.

In short, a relationship between human and canine that is made up of trust, loyalty, good behavior decisions and companionship.  Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment, make it a positive, calm relationship.

There are many choices and types of canine training.  Choices include alpha/dominance; positive reinforcement, clicker and e-collar training.  Types of training include obedience, behavioral, canine good citizen, agility and therapy*. 

It is very important for whatever choice and type of training you wish to pursue that you find the proper trainer.  Anyone can say they train dogs but there is difference between training your canine and training you and your canine to create that positive relationship between the two of you. Pursue a trainer that is accredited, certified and/or licensed in their field of expertise. 

Where to start?  Check with your fellow canine owners, and your veterinarian about canine trainers they respect in your area.  After deciding on a trainer or trainers you are interested in, ask if you can observe their work.  This will allow to you to determine if the trainer and training style will fit you, your canine and your needs.

Remember that a well-trained canine will be confident and comfortable in social situations, will make the right behavioral decisions, and experience less stress in the human world.  This type of relationship is built on good training for both the human and the canine that will continue to grow and nuture that positive, calm relationship.

*A special note on Therapy dog training and Emotional Support Animal (ESAs).  “The key difference between a service dog and an emotional support dog is whether the animal has been trained to perform a specific task or job directly related to the person’s disability. ESAs provide support through companionship and can help ease anxiety, depression, and certain phobias. However, they are not service dogs, and ESA users do not receive the same accommodations as service dog users.Therapy dogs do need certification from, and registration in, a reputable national organization. Certification is the final hurdle in a dedicated process toward becoming a therapy dog, however, which includes temperament assessment, training, and more…” (source: