If you have a dog, you've probably noticed some unique aspects of his personality. Based on history, personality, and setting, dogs act differently in the same way that humans do. We all have a common thread of humanity, but we are also distinct individuals. The same is true of dogs, who can do countless impressive things.
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Signs Your Dog Can Do Things
Some dogs have specific tasks that they are trained in. Detection dogs are used at airports, police units, schools, and anywhere else where some extra security might be needed. They help sniff out any threatening items such as drugs or weapons.
Tracking and hunting dogs are used so that humans can catch what they are looking for. These dogs can smell a specific scent and then follow that scent until they find the source. This isn't used just for hunting animals - tracking dogs can also find missing people.
Some dogs can even act! Acting dogs are the adorable mutts you see on screen, playing various roles from powerful protector to a tiny, timid pup. These dogs are excellent at following commands and remaining friendly and social with strangers.
All dogs can provide emotional support, but some dogs are specifically trained to be a therapeutic resource for people to struggle with mental illness. These dogs help calm anxiety and provide a unique peacefulness. They frequently attend hospitals, disaster relief areas, and even colleges on finals week. The dogs picked for a role like this are relaxed and friendly. More specific dogs are service dogs and provide assistance for people with disabilities.
All dogs can learn a variety of tricks. Some dogs are more skilled in quick learning than others. However, with positive reinforcement and consistent training, dogs can be multi-talented.
- Wag tail
- Raise ears
- Aware of Your Voice
- Looking at You, Not Distracted
- Quick Response to Commands
- Upright Posture
History of Dogs Learning to Do Things
Over time, wolves evolved into various types of dogs. Some dogs were better cuddlers, so humans preferred them and bred them. Other dogs were better hunters, and the people who needed them continued to breed them. All of the desirable traits that dogs have today came about thousands of years ago.
As humans trained dogs to be better hunters and protectors, the dogs also picked up other tricks. Once dogs began belonging to specific people and families, they learned even more tricks. As the number of breeds has increased over time, so have the number of different tricks.
Now, dogs can be trained to perform all types of tasks. From sit and stay to helping around the house, dogs can do many things.
The Science of Dogs Doing Things
There are many benefits to dogs learning new things. When a human trains a dog, the pair form a stronger bond because they are doing an activity and learning together. Dogs are happier when they have a little structure and direction, so training your dog will actually help with anxiety and socialization.
Teaching dogs new things benefits humans because it teaches them specific details about their dog's abilities and personality. When you train your dog, you are getting to know your dog and your dog is getting to know you. This can help with communication vocally and through body language. That improvement in communication can go along way in improving your relationship with your dog, even if it's already amazing!
When dogs and humans bond, a brain chemical called Oxytocin is released in both the human and dog. Oxytocin brings about feeling of love and peace, which leads to more positivities in other areas of life.
Training Dogs to Do Things
Along with the many benefits of training your dog, it also gives dogs the ability to feel safe and live a happy life. Healthy dogs are happy dogs, and owners can ensure their dog's happiness by training their dog. The tricks do not have to be complex. One of the first things a dog learns is when and where to go to the bathroom. Even this is impressive.
More training makes dogs smarter and more aware. Beginning with the basics is a good idea. Next, work your way to more complex but still achievable tricks. For example, dogs can learn to dance, play dead, and fetch specific items.
Some humans can teach their dogs to do amazing things. Some dogs can even learn choreographed dance routines!
Most dogs respond best by receiving treats for completing a trick. One thing to note is that you should use treats more in the beginning. Soon after your dog can grasp the trick, you'll want to start giving less treats and more positive praise. This is best because your dog may think that he only needs to follow a command when he is hungry. Some dogs who know tricks very well will not respond to their owner's commands if they are not hungry. This can be a problem, so simply replacing some treats with positive praise is a great way to ensure your dog fully learns a trick.
How to React When Dogs Follow a Command
Give belly rubs or cuddles.
Respond with open body language.
Give positive praise.