Guild of Shepherds & Collies

My Definition of Dog Training

The dictionary definition of dog training is purposely changing a dog’s behavior.  It involves teaching a dog to respond to commands or perform actions.

Growing up, I was always fascinated by the dogs I saw on T.V. for the AKC National Agility Championships.  I was inspired by the way the dogs & handlers worked together, how it almost seemed like they were reading each other’s minds as they moved swiftly through the obstacles.

I actually used to believe that the agility courses didn’t change, or they were given the course map months ahead, based on how smoothly teams seemed to navigate it.

The bond between dog and handler in the sporting world often reflected teamwork.  It wasn’t just about the one individual leading, but about them working side by side as a unit.  Neither more important than the other in the fluidity of the routine. Dog training is about the relationship you create with your dog.  It should be about aligning the desires your dog has with the desires that you have for them.

With every training method I worked with growing up, I struggled to create a connection with my dog, but then again it was about “my” connection, listening to “me”, understanding what “I” wanted him to do.

When I stepped back and created drive and motivation for working alongside me, everything changed. Our dogs want to work with us. They want to be “trained”, but they also want it to be a cooperative process. Choice is a powerful motivator. By allowing your dog to choose to work with you in your training, you can strengthen your bond and relationship and create a partnership that inspires others.

Let us know about your dog training story or what dog training means to you.  Don’t be shy!  We look forward to getting to know each of you on this journey with Guild of Shepherds & Collies. You can sign up to our email list and reach out.

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” 

-Josh Grogan, Marley & Me: Life with the World’s Worst Dog

Author: Kristin Brady, who helps all kinds of dog owners find balance in their communication with their four-legged family members.

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