Types Of Dog Training

The Right Methodology

Best Class Structure For You

Skills & Sports For Your Dog

Choose the best type of dog training for your dog. Below you will learn about the 3 types of methodogy and why its important to understand the Buzz words in the industry. Next I will guide you to choose what class structure is best for you. Many times owners hem and haw over what training program is best for their pup. Next, you will learn about the different skills that are taught and the types of dog training & sports you can do with your pup. 

3 Types Of Methodology

1. Positive Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement is training that utilizes a dog’s conditional response. If a reward is given for action A, do action A more often. If no reward is given for action B, do action B less often. It’s as simple as that. 

Key Words: Positive Training, Scientific Training, Clicker Training, Reward-Based Training

2. Adverse Training

Adverse Training is the act of punishing a dog for an action. However, scientific studies have debunked, disproved the effectiveness of adverse training.  Not only does adverse training create aggressive behavior, but it is also ineffective long term because the dog is incapable of learning when in survival mode. 

Linda Micheals, an expert in canine physiology, says that when a dog’s basic needs are not being met they are unable to form cognitive learning. These basic behaviors include Hydration, Breathing, Food, and Safety. Adverse techniques such as choke collars prevent these needs from being met. Therefore, they do not learn to behave but are instead forced into behaviors that meet their basic needs. Once the need is no longer being impeded they are most likely going to revert to old ways. 

Key Words: Alpha, Dominance, Choke Collar, Electronic Training, Pack Training, Compulsion Training

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3. Balanced Training

Balanced training is a word that trainers use to mean they use both positive and adverse training. Some trainers claim that using positive-only training is impractical because you need to tell your dog what not to do. However, this is a sign that the trainer is inept at doing their job or they are out of their scope of practice.

People tend to revert to abusive training because positive training has not worked. This could be due to the trainer’s inability to effectively deploy positive training OR this could indicate a lack of scope in their practice.

What do I mean by scope? You would not rely solely on your pediatrician if your child was experiencing PTSD. Dog trainers are similar to General Practitioners when it comes to dog training. Just like a Doctor, a GP may recommend a psychologist who is trained specifically in concepts such as PTSD, Fear, and Anxiety. 

If your trainer is unable to get the dog to present the desired behavior using positive training they should not be afraid to admit that it is out of their scope of practice. Instead, they should escalate the issue to a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists. Please note that a dog trainer and a CAAB are not the same. CAABs are specifically trained in behavioral issues. Unfortunately, many dog trainers are afraid to admit they do not know how to solve the problem.  Balanced trainers are trainers that try to practice outside the scope of their training because of this fear and resort to adverse training. Adverse training has been scientifically proven to be ineffective and can lead to aggression. This is no longer a debate. The sky is blue, water is wet, and adverse training is ineffective. 

What Makes Methodology Makes Effective Training?

Frequency + Clear Rules

Clear Rules Are The Kindest Gifts We Can Give Our Dog

Many owners often get frustrated that their dog sometimes jumps on the couch, on people, or runs out of the front door. However, when offered help they claim that their dog ‘knows not to.’ This suggests that the owner has failed to be consistent with the rules. If your rule is that your dog is never allowed on the couch, but you allow your dog once because you had a bad day, you have done your dog a disservice. Your dog does not understand the exception and will apply it across the board. When they do, owners typically will react negatively towards them. This is confusing and degrades your bond with your dog. To them, you are no longer trustworthy because you say and do two different things.

Frequency Creates Patterns and Associations

To be good at any skill they say you need 10,000 hours of practicing that skill. Dogs just like humans need practice. If you do not practice with them they will not learn. In addition, you need to practice in many scenarios and distractions. If you only practice at home in a quiet environment you can not expect your dog to behave the same way in loud or distracting environments.

Marking The Behavior

Being Quick In Your Reward

Many people think that if you give a treat within 60 seconds of a dog performing a behavior they will create an association. However, this is a misconception. Many times owners either miss the behavior or inadvertently reward a completely different behavior (sometimes bad). 

For example, let’s say you reward a dog for being quiet but it took you more than a minute to get the treat out of your pocket. Unfortunately, at that time another stimulus may have occurred (good or bad). 

For example, a bunny runs by and you treat. You have done one of two things. Either you have rewarded seeing a bunny which might be good if your dog does not react or you have rewarded your dog’s anxiety towards seeing a bunny. This is why precision rewarding makes or breaks good dog training. 

This is where clickers come into play. Once the dog associates the click as the marker for a good behavior, they know exactly what the reward is for.

Positive Reinforcement

Making It Fun

Positive reinforcement has been scientifically proven to be the most beneficial training for dogs. While some people will continue to debate this, studies have shown that abusive training can cause aggression. Additionally, adverse or balanced training is not longer-term because dogs can not enter a cognitive state of learning when in survival mode. 

Your Dog

Personality Type

Less than 33% of training is based on your specific dog breed. It is your job (and the trainer’s job) to determine:

  • How Your Dog Learns
    • Instant Learning 
    • Latent learning
  • What Motivates Them
    • Food
    • Play
    • Praise 
  • What Are Their Natural Tendencies
    • Herders
    • Hounds
    • Protection 
Every dog learns different. This dog learns using latent learning

The Two Types Of Dog Training

1. Human Focused Dog Training

To be good at any skill they say you need 10,000 hours of practicing that skill. Dogs, just like humans, need practice. If you do not practice with them they will not learn. In addition, you need to practice in many scenarios and distractions. If you only practice at home in a quiet environment you can not expect your dog to behave the same way in loud or distracting environments.

2. Dog Focused Dog Training

This type of training focuses on the dog. It allows the trainer to handle most of the training. This training is beneficial because it provides consistency and precision training when the owner leads a busy life.  

What Type Is Best For You? 

How Much Time Do You Have Per Week?

On A Scale
0-3 Times Per Week

Do You Enjoy Training?

This is the heading

Even if you have time. If you do not enjoy it your dog won't either
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2 -3



Human Focused Dog Training:
Private, Group Training, DIY

Client and her dog wendy

Private Training

Private Training is one-on-one training with you and your dog.  It requires that you have 10-15 minutes a day to practice the skills you learn in class to be effective. 

Who Should Do Private Training?

Stay at home parents, retirees, or devoted pet parents who have 2-3 days/week to train. 

Why Private Training Works?

Dog training runs smoothly if you know how dogs create associations. Once you learn this you will be able to teach them anything. 

When Does Private Training NOT Work?

When the pet parent is too busy to practice 5-10 minutes a day. 

Group Training

Group training occurs at a training facility. It is usually more economical. It involves training with many dogs in a room. 

Who Should Do Group Training?

Owners who have time to commit to 1 per week group classes and 2-3 home sessions. It requires dogs to be relatively socialized. This means the dog must not be overally aggressive or anxious. 

Why Group Training Works?

Having multiple dogs in a room creates an environment that is similar to real life.  Dogs do not generalize well if the owner is not practicing in different environments. If the dog is only receiving private training they tend to completely forget learned behaviors when around other dogs. Group classes solve this problem. 

When Does Group Training NOT Work?

When the owner has very little time to practice at home and/or their dog is overally aggressive or anxious. 


Who Should Do DIY Training?

People who are good at self-learning and have the natural instinct to read what is working for their dog and adjust accordingly.

Why DIY Training Works?

Because it forces you to abandon one size fits all mentality. This will better prepare you for harder behaviors such as loose leash walking, agility, and nosework. 

When Does DIY Training NOT Work?

When training is done ad-hock with no regime in mind. When the owner does not have the natural instinct to read a dog.  This requires them to apply one size fits all techniques and miss important steps along the way.  

Dog Focused Training

Boarding School, Walk & Train

A dog wearing glasses and reading a book learning about dog training.

Boarding School

Boarding school is where the dog lives with the trainer and practices basic obedience 1-3 times a day. 

Who Should Do Board & Train

Working Families, Families with active children (Sports, Band, School Events).  Busy parents who are booked solid.

Why Does Boarding School Work?

Dog training requires two things: consistency and precision timing.  Boarding is also ideal for dogs with specific behavioral issues like aggression. 

When Does Boarding School NOT Work?

When the trainer uses adverse training methods and/or the owner does not provide consistency with the rules after the dog has been returned. 

Types Of Board & Train Services

Residential Board & Train

Residential training is the most typical board and train program. This is where your dog stays with the trainer and is usually termed cage-less. This is because the trainer wants to imitate the dog’s home life which includes skills such as, staying off furniture, no counter surfing, going to ‘place or kennel’ when the doorbell rings, and so on. This is ideal for dogs with specific behavioral issues because they can be addressed as they arise. 

Types Of Training: Basic, Home Etiquette, Behavioral Modification


Kennel training typically occurs at the training facility. This is a budget-friendly option and can cost as low as $60 a day. Typically your dog will have 1-3 training sessions per day.  However, kennel training differs in the “downtime” environment. There are two types of facilities. One where the dog stays in the kennel when it is not being trained. The second is the daycare situation where the dog is allowed to play with other dogs in a supervised environment.


Types Of Training: Basic

General Requirements for Board and Training

To enroll your dog in a board and train program you must have:

  • Proof of Vaccinations (Rabies, DHLPP, kennel cough, heartworm preventive)
  • Kennel cough needs to be given in advance before boarding
  • Boarded dogs must have a leash, collar, and appropriate tags
  • The owner must provide food to prevent digestive stress
    • Sometimes facilities will charge for food
  • What medications are given and their frequency
  • Feeding directions
  • Signed contract and agreements
  • Behavioral overview

Walk & Train

Walk & Train is a hybrid program that combines walking and private training. Instead of  1-2 sessions of private training the dog receives 3 sessions per week one-on-one with the trainer. 

Who Should Do Walk & Train

A somewhat busy parent who is patient and can put in 1-3 days of training per week. 

Why Walk & Train Works?

Walk & Train is a hybrid program that provides consistency without having to surrender your dog to a stranger. 

When Does Walk & Train NOT Work?

When training sessions are canceled frequently or are not given enough time to show effectiveness. 

Walk & Train Is An Alternative To Boarding

Walk and Train Pros and Cons
Board and Train Pros and Cons

What To Expect?

Types Of Dog Training Skills

What Skills Should You Teach?

There are many types of dog skills & sports that you and your pup can learn together. Find the right enrichment based on the activity and skill level below. 

Dog Sports: Activity Level

Activity rating for dogs and handlers

Dog Sports: Skill Level

Skill required for each dog sport


Obedience teaches dogs basic manners which allows them to be in public without worry. Untrained dogs tend to have behavior issues due to a lack of confidence. As a result, many owners are afraid to bring their dogs in public. Obedience games teach dogs to not pull, to stay, and to drop or leave things they find on walks. Not only does training result in less aggressive behavior but it allows us to expand their world outside of the backyard. 

Dog sport activity rating: Obedience

Scent Work

Nose work or scent work is a dog sport that enriches your dog’s life through its natural ability to smell. Dogs have over 220 million olfactory nerves while humans only have 5 million. Our smell is feeble compared to that of our dog.  AKC Scentwork uses unique scents such a Birch, Clove, Anise and Cypress and to teach our dog to “find it”.

Scent Work is extremely stimulating and is a great way to get out excess energy without leaving your house. It can be done everywhere! Your house, your yard, the park, a campground, or an Airbnb rental.  Dogs can start as early as 4 weeks and can play the game all the way to the end of life. Scent Work is a great enrichment tool to add to any dog lovers’ toolbox. 

Dog sport activity rating: Scent Work

Trick Training

Trick Training is a dog sport that is more than just “paw”.  It is a great way to keep a dog active and in shape. Tricks such as barkour require the dog to climb, balance, jump, crawl, and run; it is a great sport for all types of dogs. By overcoming fears and training in different environments you not only enhance your dog’s life but train him to be confident in any environment which reduces the likelihood of aggression.

Dog sport activity rating: Trick Training

Active Sports

Active sports including running, jumping, pulling, and fetching. Active sports are for fully developed dogs and active handlers. Some sports do not require the handler to be active such as hunting and water sports.

Dog sport activity rating: Herding
Dog sport activity rating: Water sports
Dog sport activity rating: Hunting
A dog jumping over an agility jump
Dog sport activity rating: Mushing
Dog sport activity rating: Urban Sports

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