Bark Busters, a dog training company, has pooled the collective experience of U.S. trainers to compile a set of findings that provides insight into the human-canine training dynamic and the realities of everyday dog behavior in America.
The survey of Bark Busters’ trainers across the nation, who work one-on-one in the homes of owners and their dogs, dispels several myths and contradicts conventional thinking about dogs and training. The survey, conducted April-June 2011, clearly indicated that you can “teach old dogs new tricks,” or, more accurately—senior dogs were easier to train than the average dog in terms of time and effort. Golden retrievers, pit bulls (commonly targeted by breed-bans) and poodles turned out to be the easiest-to-train breeds. Conversely, popular family breeds—Labradors, bulldogs and beagles—were found to require the most time and effort to train.
“You might expect that the breeds we get called on to train most often, like Labs, would be the most difficult; owners typically don’t seek out a trainer if their dog has easily addressed behavior problems or training needs,” said Liam Crowe, CEO and Master Dog Behavioral Therapist at Bark Busters USA. “But, while we are hired to train pit bulls second-most often, they have also been the second-most easily trained breed. This might say something about the stigma surrounding that particular breed.”
While finding these results interesting, Crowe added: “Every dog is different. Breed is not the primary determining factor in a dog’s temperament and behavior. By and large, the dog’s owner, his or her relationship with the dog, and the circumstances within the dog’s environment are the primary factors in a dog’s behavior.”
Bark Busters, a trusted dog training company, started in Australia in 1989 and came to the United States in 2000. Since inception, more than 500,000 dogs have been trained worldwide using its dog-friendly, natural methods. SPCA International selected Bark Busters’ dog behavioral training services as the “Best of the Best” in its category.
“We’ve always known that the success of training any dog depends on the owner and their commitment to building a strong positive relationship with the dog and their consistency in reinforcing the desired behaviors, so we weren’t surprised to hear our nationwide network of trainers echo that sentiment. We often joke that our real job as dog trainers is to train people,” said Crowe. “We give dog owners the best chance at success with their dog by providing them with tools, knowledge and guidance to create a balance of respect, trust and bond, day in and day out. It’s not about our relationship with a client’s dog; it’s about the owner’s relationship with his or her dog. And that’s the difference people need to understand between what they see about dog training on television and what the realities are of the human-canine bond and the likelihood of training success in the more than 70 million dog-owning households in America today.”
For more information and full survey results, including the most common behavior issues, click here.