Jikan wrote:I'm in need of a book on how to train and discipline a dog (with the idea that a well-trained and disciplined dog is a happier one).
Most owners don't bother so well done!
This book is OK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/RSPCA-New-Compl ... 0751338672
I used to train dogs for obedience and agility when I was younger. I once put together a short evening course for new owners to choose, care for and train their new dogs, invented together with the guy who became the RSPCA and Dogs Trust top vet. If only such a course was compulsory!
Different breeds respond very differently to the emotions you dispaly through your body and voice, and they also learn in different ways and have different distractions - a breed bred to work by scent will find all kinds of things to track, whereas a 'gaze-hound' like a whippet or lurcher will see a bird or rabbit hundreds of yards away - or even try to chase a plane.
I haven't found a breed yet that doesn't respond to reward - praise, titbits, favourite toys. It is also generally good to walk a dog or let it chase around until calm before the first few training sessions, but this tends not to work so well for terriers who can be manic for hours, or dogs like Dalmations bred to run 60 miles as coach guard dogs, in which case use that energy and enthusiasm and make training into a game.
Books are fine but it is also essential to get the dog to mix with lots of others and also to learn that you and your family are above it in the 'pack'. It is hard to restore that position once given away, unless you are the 'Dog Whisperer'.
Oh, and it isn't all down to the owner, as some say - I've met some really dim-witted dogs! LOL