What is your perspective on a well train dog? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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What is your perspective on a well train dog?

What is your definition of a well trained dog? I feel like people forget it is more of the people being trained to handle dogs. I also feel like people forget that dogs understand us and themselves more than we do them. Even if people know that some are closed minded being wrong. A definition for a well trained dog is someone who is regconized of his/her own individual and respects and is kind to the dog. Dogs seeing this will respect you highly and listen and love you like the legendary new generation of the true dog whisperer.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 11:30 AM
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I absolutely feel it has alot to do with a well 'trained' owner. But that's in reading/learning knowing your chosen breed PLUS how to work with and train it.

That said, to me, 'trained' isn't a perfect fast 'down' or 'sit' but much more a dog that is socialized and acclimated to be calm and comfortable no matter the situation they find themselves in. A dog that can be taken out in public safely as well as to any huge family reunion and has good house manners.

Because a dog like that can learn anything, anywhere.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 11:39 AM
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I also feel like people forget that dogs understand us and themselves more than we do them.
Dogs may read our body language but I don't see how they understand us especially more then we understand them. Do they even understand themselves? They seem like they are driven by instinct much more than any understanding.

You can romanticize all you want but you can't prove a dog understands us more than we understand it.

I think a well trained dog is a dog that is well trained to do something.

It might be a blind dog, a service dog.

It might be a calm pet with great manners.

It might be a guard dog or a protection dog or a sports dog or a tracking dog, etcetc.

Each field has a different gauge on what is well trained and what is not
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 11:52 AM
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I will start about dog training itself. First of all - that is a knowledge of many generations held in books, videos, etc. A lifespan of one person with his short lived dog is not enough to train even in one direction ( say Schutzhund, or police dog training) to train one millionth part of this wide knowledge. Do you handshake with the decoy right after the session? Having your dog off leash? What your dog does well - there always could be something in addition, this it's builds up continuously until your dog is very old and gets arthritis. Many people start to train tricks after their pet is over 3 years old. How many tricks you can train him - seems, their number is unlimited. "Well trained" - it depends not on qualifications only, but on the number of jobs your dog is capable to perform.
Everyone of us is a dog whisperer to the certain point, the trouble is that many, if not the majority are brainwashed about what their dog should be, that's why the best trainers are the people who not only grew up with dogs, but had a dog pack as their family, it were the dogs who raised them while their true papent were too busy to remember where their child sleeps. Such cases are rare, such cases are mainly Maugli cases:Mowgli syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Children simply interact with dogs without any purpose, many kids often identify themselves with dogs in order to understand them better, they also often reject many concepts about human "decent" behaviour we adults take as natural. Cesar Millan is a very good example, but he is not a "pure" dog whisperer. A true whisperer doesn't need any tools, he is called "a whisperer" because unknown dog starts to behave in the way he wants, as was the best friend understanding human language in a very first moment of their meeting. I have watched it was done with problematic horses, but only read about dogs. You have to low down your human ego to be a whisperer, and that is impossible for the majority of people.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 01:34 PM
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The only thing I feel confident saying about "well trained" anymore is that I don't have it and never will.

It's a moving target. The more I get, the more I want.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 01:47 PM
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I agree with what Maggie said. It's not so much a well-trained dog as it is a dog-savvy owner. An owner who understands and respects their dog and trains for THEIR OWN dog and their needs.

I prefer to think of a dog as well-behaved more than well-trained, since they can ignore their training, but behavior will always be a part of them. Discoe's a good dog. She can go most anyplace, indoors and out. She can be off-lead nda trustworthy. Her recall, for the last nearly 5 years, has had 99.9% reliability (that .1% is for the rare occasion that I have to give a second recall command, for whatever reason), and this includes being called out of prey-drive and out of possible altercations with other dogs. She greets everyone (sometimes a bit boisterously, but that's her behavior. I don't necessarily want to train that out of her). She is reliable around other dogs, cats and children. She is reliable around the house.
This is all her behavior, though. A lot of these things haven't necessarily been achieved through formal training, but just exposure and her developing her own ideas about the things she sees and experiences she has. Perhaps there is training, unconsciously.

I guess for me, a well-trained dog is one that exhibits appropriate behaviors for what it's used for, with a high degree of reliability and consistency. One that its owner, and those who understand that dog and its purpose can look at and say with all honesty and truth that it is a 'good dog'.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 03:19 PM
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To me a well trained dog is a dog who is at a stage where they will perform expected behaviors consistently without needing correction.

But what should be expected of the dog depends on the capability of the dog. A dog with weak nerves should not be expected to be a social butterly. A dog with high drive should not be expected to be a cuddly couch potato (though it may, but it will certainly need an outlet for those drives).

The handler, on the other hand, needs to apply the correct approaches treating each dog as an individual. There are dogs who live to please and others who are much more headstrong and independent. Training methods need to be adapted to each animal.

I know nothing of the "legendary generation of the true dog whisperer". I can say good horse people tend to be good dog trainers and that is probably because you have to have some skill at reading body language when you are dealing with an animal as big as a horse. The back and forth communication with each other via body language (which is really what I gather horse whisperers do).......well.......dogs are MASTERS at reading our body language, we not so much at reading dog language though it comes with time and experience. But I still use a prong . My dog needs it at times.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 07:05 PM
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I think a well-trained dog is one that is so well bonded to its owner that the owner can expect the dog to perform any command (that the owner knows the dog knows) in any environment. And the dog will.

A well trained dog, might also perform the commands for people other than their owner.

Rushie was well trained in basic obedience. He was titled, had his CGC, and a therapy dog. When I sold him, he was four. A person that I often trained with, but not the trainer, who had never handled the dog before, was able to take the lead and show the prospective owner, that the dog could indeed do the various commands. And he did them.

This lady was a dog-person. She was raising, showing, training, breeding dogs forever. They asked her to give a demonstration one year at the fair. She agreed. She got to the place with the dog, and then without any warning or preparation, they told her they wanted her up in the press box, and the dog down where the people could see him perform his tasks. She had never done anything like that with the dog -- never commanded through a loud speaker. But she was game, and did it.

The dog came through for her perfectly. It was a well-trained dog.

I think everyone's level of expectations for their dog's behavior/training is different. Where I might consider my dogs well-trained, another might see them with limited training and that being shoddy. So I guess it really doesn't matter what we consider "well-trained." You need to define this for yourself and your dogs.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 08:24 PM
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A well trained dog IMHO should be able to go anywhere I go.

Still working on it....let ya know when we accomplish it.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-02-2014, 09:03 PM
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I think there is a difference between a well behaved dog and a well trained dog.

A well behaved dog is socialized and comfortable in a variety of situations. It's easy to live with because it knows the house rules. It is always under control and looks to the handler for guidance. The only commands required are probably recall and wait. Everything else is behavior type training.

A well trained dog knows the commands necessary for its job and performs those commands reliably, instantly and properly. These commands are detailed behaviors with specific criteria for proper execution.

I also think there is a difference in behaviorist and trainer. The lines are blurred sometimes, and it is possible to be good at both. IME, behaviorists are better at reading dogs and looking at the dog in a holistic manner. They approach the dog looking for sources of instability and train specific behaviors to address the specific situation. Trainers are more systematic and train specific behaviors based on rigid criteria based on the venue in which the dog will participate.

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