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How to Train a Working Dog Puppy

Training your dog is a rewarding experience. It improves your relationship with your pet and teaches you both how to be more comfortable in each other's presence. With warm weather approaching, you and your dog can begin to roam around outside and train together.

With that being said, we have compiled some tips and tricks for training your working dog, as well as some inspired activities to try, for work or pleasure!

1) Socialization

Socialization is a process that can help your dog become more confident and well-adjusted, making them easier to train. Socialization is important for your dog's physical, mental, and emotional health. 

The first 12 weeks of a puppy's life are critical for developing good canine behavioral habits and learning how to interact with other dogs.

When you're socializing your working dog, it's important to remember that it's not just about meeting new people or other dogs. You should also expose them to different environments, sounds, and experiences so they learn how to adapt when faced with these things later in life.

2) Exercise

Exercise is important for all dogs, but it's especially important for working dogs. You'll want to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise on a daily basis. The amount of exercise you should give your dog depends on their age and breed, but in general, most dogs need at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

Dogs with higher energy levels, like the German Shepherd or Border Collie, will likely need more exercise than the 30 minutes. However, dogs like the Newfoundland, may be satisfied with the allotted 30 minutes.

3) Obedience Training

Before you begin any sort of specialized working dog training, your pup must have basic obedience training ‘down pat.’ The most basic commands you will need to teach your dog include:

  • Sit (or Down)
  • Stay 
  • Come (or Recall)
  • Heel/Off Leash Walking

More on Basic Commands→

  • Sit: This command is used to have your dog sit. You can use this to keep them still while you are working with them, or simply when you want them to be calm and relaxed.
  • Down: The "down" command will have your dog lay down on the ground or floor in front of you instead of standing up. This is helpful when they need some rest time and also helps keep them from getting distracted while they are learning new things!
  • Stay: The "stay" command means that even if someone tries calling out their name or showing them food or toys, they should stay where they are until told otherwise by their owner (you). This is especially important because it prevents your dog from running away during training sessions!
  • Come/Heel: These two commands go hand-in-hand. The first one tells your pup where they should go; whereas the second one tells them they need to stop. When using these two together properly, it ensures that your dog understands the boundaries that are set for them.

4) Tracking

Tracking is a sport that involves following a person's or animal's scent trail. This can be used in police work, military operations, and search-and-rescue missions.

Tracking dogs are trained to follow the scent of a person or animal by using their nose as their guide. They use their sense of smell to find missing people, criminals, drugs, and even bombs! The process of nose work dog training involves teaching them how to recognize different scents so they know what they’re looking for when out on patrol (or just playing outside).

5) Agility Training

Agility training is a form of dog sport in which dogs are encouraged to run, jump, climb fences, walk on obstacles such as seesaws and A-frames, and negotiate other devices designed to test their agility and obedience.

It’s a great way to bond with your dog. It's also a fun way to get them out of the house and have some fun, especially if you don't have a yard for them to run around in. Agility can be an excellent form of exercise for the body and mind, as it requires both physical strength and mental agility from both you and your pup.

6) Herding and Weight Pulling

Herding and weight pulling are two fun sports that you can do with your dog. Herding involves herding sheep, goats, or cattle, while weight pulling involves having your dog pull a weighted sled. Both of these sports are great for both you and your dog!

When choosing a breed of working dog for either sport, it's important to look at the size and strength of their build as well as their temperament. For example: if you want to compete in herding trials with cattle, a Border Collie would be ideal because they have been bred specifically for this task since medieval times.

However, if you're looking for something smaller like sheep or goats, then maybe consider getting an Australian Shepherd instead--they're known for being energetic but easy-going dogs, which makes them perfect companions both on land and in water!

Protecting Your Dog’s Joints While Working

As you know, your working dogs are extremely active. They need their joints to be healthy and strong so they can get the job done. The wear and tear of everyday life, including strenuous physical activity, can put stress on their bodies, causing painful conditions like arthritis or joint inflammation.

It’s important to protect your working dog's joints with a supplement like Canine Cush that contains 4 potent ingredients, hand-selected for your dog’s joint health: 

  • Eggshell membrane is a natural, highly bioavailable source of glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and collagen.
  • CBD is a non-psychoactive compound derived from cannabis plants that provides relief from inflammation and pain without the adverse effects that anti-inflammatory drugs have. It’s also legal in all 50 states!
  • Boswellia is an antioxidant and super anti-inflammatory, proven to help protect dogs from arthritis and joint disease.
  • Curcumin is another super anti-inflammatory with scientifically-backed benefits. 

→Highly recommended: Our veterinarian-formulated Canine Cush supplement will truly make a difference for your dog’s joint health. Start as a puppy and continue for life for optimal effect.←

Strengthening Your Bond

Training a working dog is a rewarding experience that will strengthen the bond between you and your pet. It's important to remember that training doesn't have to be a stressful experience for either party involved, so take it slow and steady as you go through each stage of training together!

Read More:

Working Dog Training for the Twenty-First Century

Training Dogs: A Manual 

Behavioral Considerations in the Management of Working Dogs

Photo by Andrea Lightfoot on Unsplash