Different Types of Dog Training You Can Try

There are many different types of dog training. People often think of teaching basic obedience when they first learn about training dogs, but that is only one part. Dogs need to be taught how to be polite and interact well with other dogs and people. They also need to know how to be respectful overall.

Dog training can help prevent your dog from developing behavioral problems, such as destructive behavior or anxiety. There are numerous dog training methods, some of which are more beneficial than others. The following are the seven most frequent types of dog training.

7 Most Common Types of Dog Training

1. Positive Reinforcement

When you use positive reinforcement training, you praise your dog when he performs something you appreciate. For example, if you try to teach your dog to self-settle, you give him a treat every time he goes to a place and lies down quietly.

Timing is essential when it comes to positive reinforcement training. As soon as your dog performs something you appreciate, it would be best to reward him so that he understands what he is being rewarded for.

Positive reinforcement training is a type of training where you don’t use physical punishment. It means that if your dog does something you don’t like, you don’t hit or yell at them. Punishing your dog may appear to be the right thing to do. Still, they should learn without getting punished.

Many people think using force is the best way to train a dog. However, research has shown that this is not the case. Using positive reinforcement is often a lot more effective. It means your dog learns that to get tasty treats, he needs to exhibit good behavior and reduce bad behavior.

2. Clicker Training

Positive reinforcement training and clicker training are frequently combined. Clicker training uses a device that makes a loud clicking sound when you push the button.

Clicker training can help make positive reinforcement more effective. That is because the clicker makes it easier to identify which behaviors you want to reinforce.

The first step to clicker training is getting your dog to associate the clicker’s sound with getting a treat. Every time you click, give your dog a treat. It will help them understand that the clicker’s sound means good things are coming. Once they are familiar with this connection, you can use the clicker to mark the behavior that you like.

For example, if you are trying to train your dog to be calm and lie down quietly, you should click and give him a treat. Since positive reinforcement depends on rewarding the right moment, a clicker can make the process much easier and more effective.

3. Model-Rival or Mirror Training

This training method is based on the idea that dogs learn by observing. The mirror portion of this method means that the dog watches you as an example of what to do. The dog gets a reward when it performs the same action you did.

The rival portion of training is when you introduce the idea of competition into your dog’s training. If you give a treat as a reward, another dog can start doing the action you’re trying to train your dog to do. That way, your dog will try to do it faster so that he can be the one who gets the reward.

This training method takes a lot of work and expertise. But if you have the time and are very close with your dog, it could be an effective way to train them to do certain things.

4. Scientific Training

Scientific training is very broad. Animal behaviorists are always researching and coming up with new ideas that change how we think about things. It makes it hard to define what scientific training is exactly.

The best way to describe scientific training is that it is based on what recent science tells us about dogs’ cognitive abilities. This type of training helps people understand their dogs better, which can be very helpful!

The downside, of course, is that our ideas about science and dogs are constantly changing. It can be challenging to stay up to date on the newest research. Still, it is essential to do so to make sure that we are providing the best possible care for our dogs.

5. Relationship-Based Training

This training method often combines different training approaches. It is based on the idea that you and your dog are individuals. What works for some dogs might not work for others, and the same is true for humans!

Relationship-based training means using your relationship with your dog as a foundation for training. You must also figure out why your dog can’t do some things.

Building a relationship with your dog can help you train it better. It is often done with positive reinforcement when you give your dog a good thing when it does something you want. Relationship-based training can be time-consuming, but it can work well in households with multiple dogs.

6. E-Training

This type of training uses a tool called an “electronic collar” or “e-collar.” The collar is put on the dog, and you use a remote to make it give the dog a buzz or shock whenever he does something undesirable. This type of training is often used when there is a lot of distance between you and your dog or when you cannot use a leash. While it can be considered an effective training method, there are many issues surrounding e-training.

E-collar training can be fear-based and use punishment. It can often damage the relationship you have with your dog. E-collar training teaches your dog what it should not do instead of teaching him what to do.

Outdated methods of dog training that rely on scare tactics and punishment can leave your dog feeling very unsettled. Most professional trainers today will tell you that more modern, positive techniques are much more effective in building a trusting relationship between pup and owner.

7. Alpha Dog or Dominance

Alpha dog training is a type of training that was once thought to be the only way to train dogs. The idea behind this type of training is that in packs of wolves, one dominant wolf keeps the other wolves in check by using punishment.

Positive punishment is when you add something awful to stop negative conduct. For example, in alpha dog training, you would pin your dog to the ground when it does something wrong. It works as both a punishment and shows you are in charge.

This type of training was thought to be the best for a long time. However, we now know that it is one of the least effective types of dog training and can be very harmful.

Some people used to think alpha wolves were the most important wolves in a pack. But this is untrue, as we now see. The original thinker has stated that he no longer believes it and regrets writing his book.

How to Choose the Right Dog Training Method for You

Now that you know the different dog training methods, you need to decide which is the best one for you.

Focus on the Positive

When training their dog, many owners fail to reward good behavior. People usually focus on punishing bad behavior. However, this can have some unintended and negative consequences on your dog. These days, we also know that positively reinforcing good behavior is a much more effective way of training overall.

So, when trying to choose the correct method for you, it’s best to choose one that focuses on positive behaviors. Not only will it work better than punishment-based methods, but it’ll also strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

Consider Your Dog’s Personality

Different dogs need different training methods. You will want to avoid alpha dog training if your dog is naturally anxious. This type of training can make your dog’s anxiety worse.

You can build your dog’s confidence by using positive reinforcement. Relationship-based training is also helpful because it helps you understand your dog’s mind.

Talk to a Professional Dog Trainer

If you’re feeling lost, it’s a good idea to go to an expert. Look for dog trainers near you and do some research. Once you have a list of questions, ask them to determine if the trainer is the right fit for you and your dog.

It would help if you also looked for reviews of the dog trainers you are looking at. If the trainer offers different classes, you should also look into those. And when you are working with a trainer, always remember that you are your dog’s advocate! Pay attention to your pup; if something feels off or wrong, it’s okay to get a second opinion.

Common Dog Training Sports

You can do many sports with your dog to help them stay in shape. Some of these sports also help train your dog and give them confidence. The following are some of the most popular dog training sports.

Obedience Training

Obedience training is teaching your dog how to listen and behave. With obedience training, your dog will learn commands like “sit” and “stay,” which will be helpful in everyday life.

As your dog progresses through his obedience training, you may also be able to teach him more complex commands. It is an excellent method for keeping your dog cognitively active, and it’s perfect for intelligent dogs who get bored quickly.

Agility Training

If you have a high-energy dog, agility training might be the sport for you. In this sport, your dog races through and around obstacles while you guide him. It is an excellent way to expand your dog’s energy. Agility training can also help strengthen your bond with your pet.

If you want agility training with your dog, you must start by teaching them obedience. If your dog is good at listening to you, then you can start practicing agility at home. It might be a lot of fun!


Dogs have a fantastic sense of smell. That’s why it is essential to use your dog’s nose! Tracking is a great way to do that. It uses your dog’s natural ability to track down a scent. Seeing your dog become super focused as he zeroes in on a scent is also amazing!

If your dog is brilliant, you can get him into Tracking. It is a sport where your dog follows the smell of something.


There are many different ways to train a dog. Choosing which is best for you and your dog can be hard. The most important thing is to find a way to train your dog that meets its individual needs. Not all training methods work for all dogs, so it is essential to consider your dog’s personality and past experiences.

If you’re feeling lost and overwhelmed, it’s a good idea to consult with a dog trainer. It will help you get your dog trained the right way. You should do some research and read reviews before meeting with the trainer. Be sure to ask questions so that you and the trainer are on the same page.

It would help if you focused on positive reinforcement techniques to help you and your pet have a better relationship. Get started today!

Read more: Training a Dog With Treats, Not Tricks

Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Dog Training

What Is the Best Way to Train Your Dog?

One way to train a dog to do something is to reward them. The best rewards are things that the dog wants the most. If the dog is food motivated, then treats might work better than praise.

What Is Negative Dog Training?

One way to train animals, including dogs, is to use negative reinforcement. Negative reinforcement means taking away something that increases or maintains the behavior. The ‘negative’ part refers to something being removed, and ‘reinforcement’ means the behavior increased in frequency.

What Is Formal Dog Training?

It doesn’t mean you should neglect your formal training. Formal training can help you better understand dogs and teach dogs how to understand humans better. Without this training, the language barrier between dogs and humans can be challenging to overcome.

What Is Negative Dog Punishment?

Negative punishment is when you deprive someone of something they desire after they do something you don’t want them to do. As an illustration, if your dog pulls when you’re walking it, you might stop walking and wait until the dog stops pulling before continuing.

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