Can all dogs be trained?

Remember, even if your dog is not on the above list, almost every dog can be trained. You just might need more patience with some breeds than others. And sometimes, the “most trainable” dogs present their own challenges. For example, they can learn bad behaviors just as quickly as good ones.

Many people wonder at some point if ALL dogs can be trained, whether it is because they are dealing with a difficult rescue dog, a new puppy, or their boisterous young adult dog. This article is for you if you’ve been wondering the same thing and are concerned that you may have a dog whose training is futile.

The short answer to “can all dogs be trained?” is “YES,” but you also need to consider what you want to teach your dog and how simple or difficult that training will be. All dogs can learn, but some have more difficult learning tasks than others.

Some breeds are simple to train using conventional techniques, while others may require more ingenuity to persuade them to comply with your requests. Setting realistic expectations for your particular dog may be the most important step in determining if, in fact, it can be trained. Habits are difficult to break for dogs, just like they are for humans. Your dog’s age can also be a factor. Let’s look more closely at the factors that influence how easy or difficult it is to train dogs.

It is simply untrue that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Perhaps “old habits die hard” is a better proverb to remember. ” Dogs are capable of learning throughout their entire lives. However, it can be much more challenging if the training you’re trying to give to your older dog goes against routines that they’ve been used to for a long time.

The difficulty of training your senior pet may be exacerbated by medical conditions in addition to your attempts to teach your older dog new behaviors and rules that may go against those they have adhered to for years. Older dogs may experience cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), a neurobehavioral condition that can have an impact on their daily lives in ways that resemble dementia in humans. Training your senior dog might be more challenging if they have this condition. Today, products like Senilife and Purina ProPlan Veterinary Diet NC Neurocare are available that may help with CDS. Training can be done with patience and consistency as long as your older dog does not have severe CDS.

I advise you to start training your new pup as soon as you bring him or her home because it is frequently simpler to train a puppy than it is to retrain an adult dog, though there are challenges with that as well.

Be consistent with your rules and your behavior expectations. Setting your “house rules” and sticking to them for the duration of your dog’s life will produce the best results. It is unfair to change the rules for your dog as they get bigger. Remember that puppies have short attention spans, so make sure that training sessions are always brief and enjoyable for the dog. Additionally, you should be mindful of developmental phases that may make training more challenging, such as teething and fear phases.

For several hundred years, humans have selectively bred dogs for specific physical characteristics and working prowess. As a result, some breeds tend to pick up new behaviors more quickly than others.

That is particularly true of dogs that were bred to work alongside humans as opposed to dogs that carry out their tasks on their own.

You won’t be able to identify a mixed-breed dog’s typical learning style as effectively as you could with a purebred dog if you are working with one. That doesn’t mean mixed-breed dogs are more or less amenable to training; it just means you’ll need to consider each dog’s personality to determine the most effective training methods.

There are numerous lists on the internet that rank the “smartest” and “dumbest” dog breeds. Unfortunately, these lists frequently conflict with one another, making them a poor method for classifying the various dog breeds.

Several terrier and hound breeds are frequently included on the “dumb” list of these lists. Having spent years residing with hounds, I vehemently disagree with this assertion. Afghan Hounds are frequently listed among the “dumbest” or most challenging to train breeds, but every Afghan Hound owner I know believes their dogs to be almost human-like in their intelligence. I personally have found hound breeds (sighthound breeds in particular) to be incredibly smart. However, because sighthounds are still quite primitive by nature, their intelligence frequently manifests itself in a variety of ways. They frequently lack an innate desire to please their humans, for instance. Due to the need to persuade the dog that complying with the request is worthwhile, their owners may find training them to be more difficult. My Pharaoh Hounds are incredibly easy to train; the hard part is getting them to follow through on what I’ve taught them time and time again.

I frequently remind my customers that intelligence and obedience are not synonymous A dog is unquestionably obedient if they follow instructions exactly every time. However, it is not necessarily intelligent, as it is not always wise to follow instructions without question.

Dog breeds that have assisted humans in their work for decades (such as the majority of hunting breeds, many working breeds, and some herding breeds) frequently appear on lists of the “smartest” breeds. That’s because they relied on their human companions for guidance and were not urged to come to their own conclusions. This quality frequently makes training much simpler and improves their performance dependability.

The breeds that are consistently rated as being among the “smartest” and easiest to train are Border Collies, Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers. That is probably because they have a history of seeking guidance from their owners.

Although all dogs can be trained to some extent, training can be more challenging if your dog has a physical or mental impairment. Some of the mental impairments that may arise with aging have already been mentioned, but there are others that may make it more difficult for your dog to pick things up quickly.

It goes without saying that a dog with hearing loss won’t obey verbal commands. If you can change your training methods to use hand signals rather than verbal signals, that won’t be a problem. In fact, it is frequently simpler because dogs react to body language much more quickly than they do spoken words. Getting your dog’s attention so that you can use the hand signal will be more difficult, though. As a result, training a dog with a hearing issue will not be as difficult for a breed that is generally more human-focused than it would be for a more independent dog.

Blind dogs can hear your verbal cues but won’t be able to read your body language or imitate your actions, which could pose some serious training challenges. Once more, with perseverance and the right training methods, even dogs with little to no sight can learn fundamental manners and laws.

If what you ask them causes them pain or discomfort, physical impairments like missing limbs or arthritis may cause your dog to take longer to respond to your commands. However, their physical impairments only affect their ability to comply promptly and in the desired manner rather than their capacity to learn. When working with a dog who has one of these conditions, you must modify your requests to make it simpler for the dog to comply.

According to me, anxiety and fear are disabilities as well. Extreme stress or fear impairs a dog’s capacity for rational thought. As soon as their bodies go into fight or flight mode, they act impulsively. Even if the threat is merely perceived by the dog and not real, that is still a possibility. In this mode, it is almost impossible to train a dog. Because of this, training a persistently fearful dog will be very challenging unless you can help him or her change that behavior and replace it with a more comfortable, relaxed one.

Although all dogs can be trained to some extent, the most effective training technique will vary greatly from dog to dog. Thankfully, there are many different training techniques available. You might only need to change your training approach if you have a dog that you feel is not responding to training.

Over time, training techniques have changed from those that rely heavily on punishment (like the Koehler method) to those that only use positive reinforcement (like the clicker training depicted in Don’t Shoot The Dog). Although some dogs have responded well to both ends of the training spectrum, the majority of dogs will respond best to training techniques that fall in the middle of these two extremes. Finding the training method that your dog will respond to best will be your challenge.

A group class setting might not be the best environment for your dog, in which case you will need to experiment with a private trainer. If you have taken your dog to a class that was unsuccessful, don’t give up! Try a different class with a different trainer.

You will want to interview several trainers to find one that has experience training challenging dogs, so please keep this in mind as you look for a trainer to assist you. When describing your situation to the trainer, be truthful. Include all of the methods you’ve tried, along with what has and hasn’t worked. I think the best trainers are those who are knowledgeable about a variety of training methods and don’t just concentrate on one way of doing things. Even though they might have a preferred method of training, if it doesn’t work for your particular dog, it won’t be of any use to you. You’ll need to find a trainer whose preferred method is effective for your dog, or you’ll need to find a trainer who is adaptable and willing to try a variety of methods to determine which is most effective for your circumstance.

As I previously stated, many times dogs that people think are difficult to train are actually very intelligent. They just don’t respond to traditional training methods. You will not be successful with clicker training if your dog is not interested in treats. Most reward-based training techniques will be challenging if your dog isn’t even remotely motivated by food. Unless you can find a reward your dog would prefer besides treats, like a toy. You may need to look into some of the more force-based training techniques for those dogs for whom you can’t find a reward.

However, some dogs do not adapt well to any form of compulsion. When corrected, they might completely go off the rails or even become hostile. Reward-based training may be the best option for those dogs.

Training problems are frequently caused by the messages the dog is getting from the humans in the home rather than the dog itself. A dog that receives contradictory instructions frequently will struggle to comprehend what is expected of them. Depending on the dog’s personality, you will typically receive one of three responses when this occurs.

The best solution for a dog that isn’t responding to your training methods is to try a different approach!

Although the question of whether all dogs can be trained is simple to answer, it is not a fair one to pose. You must consider WHY you want to train your dog. Despite the fact that all dogs can learn, not all of them are trained to be excellent off-leash obedience competition dogs, service dogs, or police dogs. Setting expectations for your dog is a necessary part of training, and if you want to succeed, you must do so in a reasonable manner.

For example, expecting a dog with a very high prey drive (like the breed I have) to be completely dependable off-leash is not a reasonable expectation. I must consider the fact that Pharaoh Hounds were bred to hunt rabbits, as this instinct is deeply ingrained in their DNA. If a rabbit crosses their path, even though I can frequently persuade my dogs that doing as I say is in their best interest and will result in a treat (which they REALLY like), the treat becomes incredibly insignificant to them, and their instincts take control.

A shy dog who is at ease at home but dislikes meeting lots of new people in unfamiliar settings is not likely to make a good candidate for therapy dog training. However, it is unfair to try to change them into something they are not when you have the patience and the right training to raise a dog that will tolerate being in public and occasionally getting petted by a stranger. If you want to put it into human terms, I think most people, if not all people, can learn to play a basic piano song. However, some people find that task to be much easier than others, and only some individuals possess the talent to become concert pianists.

Basic manners and simple commands should be easy for you to teach your dog, but before beginning any advanced or specialized training, you must consider your dog’s personality. If you want to be successful, set realistic training objectives that suit your lifestyle and, more importantly, the temperament of your dog. You will need to put in the time and practice to achieve your goals once you have considered the breed, activity level, motivational factors, and training method that work best for you (and your dog). You should be able to accomplish reasonable training objectives with ANY dog if you have patience, consistency, and PRACTICE!

No, Different Dog Breeds Learn the Same

The question “Do different dog breeds learn differently?” is frequently posed by people who own purebred dogs as pets. As a certified dog trainer, I’m always pleased to respond to this inquiry. If you’re interested in learning more about how different dog breeds are trained, read on for a professional dog trainer’s perspective.

All dogs learn by adhering to the same principles used in human learning because each dog, regardless of breed, is an individual.

Yup, we use the same learning principles to teach:

  • Rhinos to hold their feet up for nail grinds
  • Silverback Gorillas to open their mouths for flossing
  • Fish how to perform tricks
  • Butterflies how to put on a show
  • Children to tie their shoes
  • I’ve trained hundreds of dogs, and every single one of them was able to pick up the same skills using the same teaching techniques. Even though a dog’s breed can influence his ultimate dog training prize or reveal certain facets of his personality, it has no bearing on his capacity to pick up new behaviors.

    “Most dogs develop their remaining senses more strongly to make up for the loss of one, like vision or hearing, and can easily overcome any deficits.” However, training a dog with a disability is frequently more challenging for humans, she adds. For example, it can be challenging for many people to communicate with deaf dogs. Of course, the dog continues to learn, but the owner might have a harder time. ”.

    The short answer is no, according to animal behaviorist Dr. Joanne Righetti, there is no such thing as an untrainable dog. “Most dogs are trainable. It’s possible that some dogs with brain conditions or injuries have trouble learning, but this is the exception, says the expert. “Most dogs enjoy training because it involves time spent with their owners. Finding the right learning motivation is the key. ”.

    Dave Stabback of Sydney thinks his four-year-old Weimaraner Franklin’s anxiety prevented him from doing well in training. Franklin struggled with separation anxiety since he was a young child, which caused him to act out destructively when left alone. Franklin was initially quite adept at complying with straightforward commands, such as heeling on the lead, but as he grew larger, it became more difficult to control him and he became resistant to simple instructions,” says Dave.

    The brain and behaviors of young dogs are still developing. Training at this time will be more easily assimilated because everything a puppy encounters is being processed and stored in memory, claims Dr. Jo. “It is never too late to teach a dog; adult dogs may need to “unlearn” old behaviors in order to pick up new ones. ”.

    “Animals in a state of stress or fear will not learn, so owners and handlers should train their dogs in times of calm,” says a researcher. They might not have provided sufficient rewards, for example, to make the situation sufficiently motivating, she says. They might be attempting to train their dog something that is too challenging for them. Break complicated tasks into smaller tasks. ”.

    Ask prospective dog trainers how they train; they should be able to explain in detail what will happen if the dog performs an action correctly and what will happen if the dog performs the action incorrectly. It’s time to move on to someone else if the instructor is unable to provide a clear response or if the response is extremely difficult. Your dog’s future is frequently in the hands of your trainer, so I advise picking someone who has a thorough understanding of the principles of animal cognition.

    In addition, this is the reason prong, shock, and choke collars are so effective. Despite what anyone may tell you, the dog is punished for pulling on the leash by having his collar tightened or by receiving a shocking sensation. The dog learns that pulling causes discomfort and pain, so he walks more slowly. I’m just demonstrating how animals learn, not endorsing the use of these collars.

    Remember Pavlov? He trained dogs to associate the sound of a bell with the smell of food. He achieved this by repeatedly ringing a bell before giving food to the dogs until they began to salivate. This occurred because the dogs began to associate the sound of the bell with receiving food and began to anticipate it. The same applies to when your doorbell rings; your dog is aware that visitors mean visitors, which can either be extremely exciting or extremely stressful for your dog. We alter your dog’s associations to try and alter his emotional reaction to a situation.

    Recall my opening statement: All animals learn in the same way. I really mean to say that learning is not breed- or species-specific when I say “all animals.” Check out the videos at the bottom of this blog post for evidence. Similar to how I train dogs, these people also train cats, stingrays, cheetahs, and orangutans. I don’t know why some dog trainers say that all dogs learn differently if learning is the same for all species, including mammals, birds, and fish. Is it because they were once taught this? Do they really mean they weren’t successful with the techniques I’m referring to? All I know is that if someone makes this claim, you should flee immediately and as far away as possible.

    The answer to this question will point us in the right direction and determine whether the dog is acting out because he is upset or because he lacks manners. We must alter a dog’s association with the mailman if he becomes upset when the mailman places unsettling items in the mailbox. When meeting new people, if a dog doesn’t know how to sit instead of jump, we must use punishment to train him to do so.


    Are there dogs that just can’t be trained?

    The short answer is no, according to animal behaviorist Dr. Joanne Righetti, there is no such thing as an untrainable dog. “Most dogs are trainable. It’s possible that some dogs with brain conditions or injuries have trouble learning, but this is the exception, says the expert.

    What’s the hardest dog breed to train?

    So let’s talk about the top 10 hardest dogs to train:
    • Rottweilers.
    • American Pit Bull Terriers.
    • Siberian Huskies.
    • Bullmastiffs.
    • Chinese Shar-Pei.
    • Afghan Hounds.
    • Basset Hounds.
    • Beagles.

    What breed of dog is easy to train?

    1. Border Collie. The Border Collie is regarded as the most intelligent and straightforward to train dog and is prized for its instincts and working prowess. They require owners who can keep them busy while giving them plenty of exercise and mental stimulation because they have a lot of energy and love to work.

    Are all dogs easy to train?

    However, not all breeds of dogs are the simplest to train, and if they’re misbehaving, they can be a major source of stress. Without learning the fundamentals, dogs may engage in a variety of undesirable behaviors, including barking, pulling on the leash, destroying household items, and being unsociable around people or other animals.