What did you learn about dog training that I can’t learn in a book or online course?

what did I learn about dog training you can't learn from a book
What did you learn about training that I can’t learn in a book or online course?

You can find a million books out there, and most of them have answers to questions you might have. However, knowing which up-to-date skills in your tool belt to use at what time and precisely how to use them, and knowing how to handle a huge variety of situations that are bound to come up are not things you can learn from books. That takes experience with dozens or hundreds of different animals of all different temperaments and needs.

Something that only comes from direct experience working with dozens and dozens of different animals is an ability to read subtle body language. It is definitely possible to get a solid understanding of general body language from books, online courses, diagrams, and just looking at your own pets. It is generally easy to tell when a domestic animal is sad, happy, or excited. So many people “know” that a dog wagging her tail means she is happy. Would it surprise you to know that a wagging tail DOESN’T always mean she is happy, and can actually mean any number of things?

As an example, have you ever heard somebody say, “My dog was acting totally fine until he snapped and bit out of nowhere!”? This is something a dog trainer hears all the time, and what we actually hear is, “I wasn’t able to read my dog’s body language well enough to tell what they were actually feeling”. Sometimes, a single flick of the ear, a subtle swish of the tail, a very slight glance, or any combination of barely noticeable movements may paint an elaborate and obvious picture to a trainer that just a regular person may not be able to see at all, just because they have not had the experience, and all the books in the world are not able to prepare you for something like that.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SparkyGo.