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The Difference between Dog Training and Behaviour Management

People often confuse training a dog for managing its behavior. Though they are both used simultaneously and are imperative, they are two separate concepts.

What’s the difference?

Dog training

Training implies teaching the dog something new. Be it basic commands or navigating agility courses. An important point about training is that the dog is learning to do something or ceases doing something.

 

What we can train dogs to do:

Basic commands – sit, stay, lie down, drop it or wait

Potty training

Stop jumping and biting

Tricks such as shake paw, roll over, play dead, speak, etc.

The number of tricks we can teach a dog are never ending, but the single most important thing all of them have in common is that your dog is learning new things.

Behaviour Management

Behaviour management is different from training in the sense that the dog doesn’t learn or pick up anything new. We simply try to control specific situations in a dog’s immediate environment to prevent certain unwanted behavior.

 

For instance, we may never train the dog to get used to loud blaring noises during festive seasons. What we can do is provide a safe place for our dog to go to or seek refuge during those times. Some owners may go off on a quiet holiday and take their pet with them. Others may design a room in their house with some amount of soundproofing. Thus, in such a situation you are not training the dog to behave in a way, but rather managing the dog’s response to the loud noises.

Some behaviour management techniques-

Putting an ever-hungry dog on a leash when you’re eating

Using a body harness to make dog walking easier 

Segregating aggressive dogs from strangers

Avoiding the stairs for dogs who are afraid of using them

Providing your pet, a chew toy to distract it from chewing the furniture

In all these cases, the dog does not learn anything. The hungry dog isn't going to stop begging for food when you sit down to eat. And while walking the dog becomes easier on the harness, the dog isn’t going to miraculously start heeling at your side when he's on a regular collar.

Working Collectively 

While dog behavior management and dog training are two different things, they are not influenced by each other. Behavior management is an integral part of any dog training drill.

Let's reconsider the dog who is afraid of loud noises again. Depending on the severity of the distress, it is possible to train some dogs not to be afraid of the loud noises. Start by attempting to manage your dog’s fear or anxiety of loud noises during festive seasons by trying out different methods and tools. Continue to use those tools until your dog is over her/his phobia. 

Behaviour management for all dogs is a significant tool in preventing undesirable behaviour until your dog is trained to behave differently.

Happy Dog Training!

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