Before you can start to train your dog, it is most important that you have some understanding of what sort of creature he or she is and how his or her mind works.

You must always remember that a dog is an animal, not a small person on four legs who understands every word you say.

Dog instincts and behavior

A dog’s behavior is directed by its instincts. Its perception of the world is different from ours because its senses are different and its communication with other dogs and with us is limited by lack of language.

As well as understanding dogs as a whole, you need to appreciate your own dog’s individuality. Every dog is different. They cannot all be trained in exactly the same way.

Breed characteristics of dogs

The differences are caused by a combination of the effects of inheritance and environment. If you have a purebred dog, he or she may inherit the characteristic temperament of the breed, i.e, golden retrievers will tend to be friendly, border collies will often be quick-moving and active, Irish setters are easily distracted, etc.

However, within any given breed, there are often individuals or strains with untypical temperaments.

Best time to take puppy from mother

The age at which a puppy leaves its mother and litter mates can affect its attitude to other dogs, and people.

If it leaves before seven weeks, it may not have had time to learn how to relate properly to the other puppies and may then always find it difficult to get on with other dogs.

On the other hand, a puppy which stays in a kennel until three months may be shy of meeting people. Over-harsh early house-training may produce a dog always nervous of sudden hand movements.

Teasing of a young puppy by unsupervised young children may result in a dog nervous of children.

All dogs will respond to training, but it is important to select the most suitable methods for any particular dog.

Learn to know your dog first. Then have it trained. And it will know you.