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Dog of character: how to manage and train him?

Training a dog of character requires firmness. But for this to be successful, the master must analyze and understand the behavior of his animal in order to apply the most appropriate educational method. Confidence, respect, patience and mastery are essential to educate a dog with a strong character and to avoid mistakes because they can lead to aggressiveness or fear and end up being the opposite of what was intended.

Dog of character: a very suggestive notion

"My dog has character! "is an expression that is heard all the time, but it is not always used with good reason. This is for example the case when the dog is for example :
  • Aggressive,
  • Destructive,
  • Disobedient,
  • Bite,
  • Thief,
  • Runaway.
These characteristics are not traits of character but defects in behavior that a good education can correct. On the other hand, they are very often due to a lack of education or an unsuitable educational method.

The character of a dog is linked to its breed (in part) and can be modified by education (for good or ill). It is thus necessary to dissociate the innate character from the behavior (or acquired character). Three fundamental elements thus forge the character of a dog:
  • Its race,
  • His life story,
  • His education.
If its education is well managed, it makes it possible to socialize a dog, to improve its behavior in society and thus to modify its character without transforming it radically.

There is no one way to train a dog, since one must always take into account his personality so that the animal is happy and his master obtains the best results.

Training a dog: patience and credibility

It is an illusion to want to educate your dog in a few days. Patience is the basis as well as the constant mood of the master so that the dog understands what is expected of him. One should not be harsh one day for an act of disobedience and be lax the next day when the dog repeats it. To train a dog, credibility is essential.

However, be careful not to be mistaken. An aggressive dog is not a dog with character! He must therefore be trained differently, and if possible by a team of professionals. This aggressiveness can be the result of educational errors, some masters being convinced that a dog must be "checked" to be educated. This is completely false. It is not by violating or bullying an animal that one can make him understand the rules to be respected.

The training method must therefore be adapted to the dog's character and take place in a climate of trust. If the animal does not understand what his master expects of him and is not put in confidence, he risks being anxious, even frightened, and consequently aggressive towards his fellow dogs but also towards humans.

Dog training professionals strongly recommend that you start by forming a kind of buddy system with your dog. The master must guide his companion, define the rules and then teach him to respect them so that the animal does not represent any danger in his future life and is as well balanced as possible.

If you welcome a dog with a strong character into your home and you do not feel able to train him, you can ask for advice from a behaviourist veterinarian or entrust his education to a dog trainer.

At what age should a dog be trained?

The ideal is to start training the puppy as early as possible. However, some families welcome a dog that is already adult and that has not necessarily been trained. It is of course possible to instill some good manners in the dog, but it is a little more complicated because the animal has had time to develop very bad habits. In any case, at any age the dog can change, improve and acquire a rule of conduct. It is an animal that is perfectly capable of adapting to its environment and to the rules required by its master and its host family if everyone is consistent and if a climate of trust reigns on a daily basis.

As early as the eighth week of life, the dog can already begin to be guided. This training is essential so that the animal quickly develops good habits and assimilates orders. Otherwise, within a few months the dog acts as a free electron and it is then much more complicated to straighten the bar. In the absence of early education, the consequences can be very important, such as for example
  • Untimely barking,
  • Aggressiveness,
  • Hyperactivity...
Many dog behavior problems are due to a lack of education, the dog then having no notion of the rules of life. This lack of knowledge making the animal difficult to manage is the cause of 8 out of 10 abandonments.

Communication between the master and the animal is both verbal and gestural. But it must be used in the same way by all members of the family. As for the rules of life to be respected, they must be demanded by everyone so that the dog integrates them and then respects them. It is thus necessary to show a great coherence, and to stick to them.

You get better results, even if you start training a dog as an adult, as long as you respect his comprehension abilities. It is important to be observant, to analyze his reactions and to take into account his life history without letting him do anything.

Before welcoming a dog into the family, it is fundamental to learn about the characteristics of his breed. Some owners find it very difficult to live in perfect harmony with dogs with a strong character. It is therefore better to turn to another dog that is more flexible or more discreet, especially if the master does not wish to make the effort to educate him, because it is a long term job but so rewarding!