Dog training: the process of teaching a dog (Canis lupus familiaris) to perform certain behaviors under various circumstances and in certain roles on command. It is a general term not describing by itself either what or how the dog is taught.
There are as many areas in which to train as there are methods. Most often certain methods, or combinations of methods are applied to any area of training. Obedience, herding, agility, tracking, retrieving, hunting, guard, and schutzhund are common areas of dog training.
- Teaching a dog basic obedience commands (part of obedience training)
- Teaching a dog to perform tricks casually or for circus acts
- Teaching a guide dog to lead the blind
- Teaching a rescue dog to find victims of a disaster
- Teaching a hunting dog to perform its instinctive behaviors at appropriate times
As pack animals, wild dogs have natural instincts that favor cooperation with their fellow dogs. These instincts have been refined and exaggerated through years of selective breeding by humans, and are manifested in the domestic dog’s adeptness at correctly interpreting and responding to signals given by a human handler. The handler is simply whoever is working with a dog at the time.