Easiest Dogs to Train for Therapy Service or Protection

Many of the easiest dogs to train are used as service dogs. Training any breed of dog can be difficult if you don’t have patience and are not consistent. If you’re researching different breeds this means that you’re taking a step in the right direction in terms of finding a dog that’s a right fit for you and your family. Base the breed of your choice on what you’re looking for in a dog, such as their personality traits and abilities, weight and lifespan. If you’re willing to devote time to training your dog, keep in mind that every dog is an individual and how quickly they learn will depend on how you train them, how often you train them and how consistent you are. All of these dogs are highly intelligent, loyal, high energy and eager to learn.

Standout Traits these Dogs have to Offer

When it comes to intelligence, agility and ease of training, the German shepherd really stands out. These highly intelligent dogs are the top choice for police dogs and military dogs. They are also commonly used as service or therapy dogs. Training these dogs can require a firm but gentle approach. They also need plenty of mental and physical exercise, which can make them a demanding breed. These dogs will grow to be around seventy to eighty pounds and have a lifespan of eleven to twelve years. Renowned for their gentle and protective nature, these loyal beasts make great family dogs, as long as you help them to burn off some energy by taking them for walks, running with them or simply playing fetch. A bored German shepherd is a destructive German shepherd so keep this in mind when it comes to deciding if they’re a good fit for your lifestyle.

The golden retriever is also considered a popular family dog and they have quite the reputation for being man’s best friend. Energetic, intelligent, loyal and with a big desire to please, the golden retriever is completely yours and will do whatever it takes to make you happy. These pets are happiest when active and will really thrive with a lot of human interaction and attention. Good with kids, these gentle dogs make a nice fit in any family. This breed will weigh in at around seventy pounds and they have a lifespan of ten to twelve years.​

Why you’ll melt for Labs and Collies

The Labrador retriever is a playful, medium sized dog who loves to be loved. These active dogs make good family pets and require an active lifestyle in order to remain happy and healthy. Very intelligent and obedient, labs are incredibly versatile and can be trained to work as therapy dogs, police dogs or service dogs. Full grown they can weigh in at around eighty pounds and have a lifespan of ten to twelve years.

Border collies are considered one of the smartest dogs out there. They’re very eager to learn, in fact they thrive in a learning environment and their willingness to please, mixed with a pretty intense amount of loyalty makes them a favorite choice for families looking for the right dog. Border collie’s are very competitive and they excel in obedience and agility. This dog is perfect for owners who have a solid understanding of what this dog is capable of and their work ethic. These dogs need plenty of exercise in order to prevent the development of behavioral problems. This breed grows to be around forty to fifty pounds and has a lifespan that ranges from eleven to thirteen years.​

The Doberman pinscher is built for speed. These dogs are best described as patient, determined, intelligent and loyal. They make great family dogs, guard dogs and watch dogs. They thrive best in an active environment and need plenty of attention, human interaction and love in order to thrive. A bored Doberman can become destructive and take to digging in the yard or destroying items in the home. Because of this, these dogs do best with active owners and shouldn’t be left alone for several hours at a time unless they have been properly crate trained. Training these dogs is easy as long as you remain consistent and devote enough time to their needs. These dogs weigh around eighty pounds and have an average lifespan of twelve to thirteen years.​

The Rottweiler is truly man’s best friend. These dogs can appear very intimidating and for a good reason. These dogs are fiercely protective, determined and courageous. Rotts are powerful, calm and even tempered. They are very intelligent and can make good guard dogs and watch dogs. They are commonly used in the military and on the police force and they also have a talent for tracking and herding. A Rottweiler can grow to be as much as eighty to ninety pounds and they have an average lifespan of twelve years.​

Is Your Dog the Right Candidate for Service Training?

Here is an extensive list of the general traits and characteristics a therapy dog must possess:

  • Your dog must love to interact with strangers. This means a high tolerance for being touched. Your dog should actually enjoy these new experiences and thrive with the attention he or she receives from new people.
  • The dog must be very at ease and accepting of people who display different types of behaviors, such as autistic people, people who are mentally handicapped or terminally ill patients.
  • Your dog should feel comfortable and confident in environments that are different from home. Visiting a wide variety of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools are a big part of the therapy dog’s life.
  • They should also have exceptional focus and self-control. Many of the environments a therapy animal visits will be filled with a variety of distractions. An animal that is happy and focused will be calm and relaxed when surrounded by multiple distractions.
  • A therapy dog needs to be both mature and psychologically sound. Visiting such a diverse mix of people can be challenging for any animal. Much like you feel drained and exhausted from a long day at work, a therapy animal can become fatigued after meeting with people all day.

Some of the characteristics a therapy dog needs is mainly a matter of temperament, while others can be affected by how the dog has been trained. If your dog has certain attributes such as a fear of strangers, is overly enthusiastic, guards family members, toys or food, excessively licks people, is aggressive in any way, focuses on you or a certain family member more than other people, has health issues or is over the age of eight, working as a therapy animal may not be appropriate for your pet.

Why Training Your Dog will take Time

If you have a hard time training your dog, you may need to experiment with different techniques in order to determine what works best for the both of you. Some dogs just need a little motivation and encouragement so spend some time learning what inspires them, in order for you to properly teach your pet and provide them with a healthy and happy life. Most trainers recommend waiting no longer than four months of age to begin basic obedience training and no more than six months for advanced, guard dog training. There are many types of training methods to choose from, but if you have no prior experience with these techniques, we recommend seeking the help of a professional trainer. This is especially important if you plan on using your dog as a service or therapy animal.

Therapy Dogs in Action

If you’re interested in using your pet as a therapy dog, you should first know that they need to have the appropriate aptitude in order to qualify for this line of work. A therapy dog should be friendly with strangers and feel at ease in a wide variety of environments and situations. While most dogs can be trained for therapy services, not every dog can be trained to enjoy the frequent exposure to new people and environments, which is essential for this line of work. As an owner, you must work closely with your dog in order to develop a solid relationship.

During training, you must practice positive reinforcement techniques, which most dogs enjoy learning. Using these types of techniques can make each training session a fun and positive experience for your pet. Keep in mind that consistency and repetition are the keys to successful training.

Between and before a training session it’s also important to make sure that your dog receives regular exercise. If you attempt to train your dog before they have had the chance to burn off any excess amounts of energy, it will make your training session very difficult because the dog will be anxious and hyper and not able to pay attention. Exercising means more than just allowing them to hang out in their backyard all dog. Play some fetch or take them for a walk, run or jog, one to two times daily depending on the breed. Dogs such as pit bulls and border collies are very energetic and active and need more exercise than labs. These dogs also need to be challenged mentally on a regular basis. Dog training is considered a form of mental exercise, but as an owner, you will need to provide additional opportunities for your dog to learn and thrive. You can also speak to your dog’s trainer and learn about the different types of physical and mental activities your dog can benefit from. Many trainers recommend combining activities your dog enjoys with training techniques. If you’re not sure what types of activities your dog would enjoy or how to merge training techniques with your dog’s favorite pastime, never be afraid to ask your trainer questions and get some guidance that will help both you and your pet to be successful.

Knowing your dog is another important part of their training. As an owner, you should know your dog’s requirements, abilities, and limitations. The trainer’s job is to teach you how to correctly teach your animal, but as an owner, it’s your responsibility to understand and know what your animal’s requirements are and what challenges they face. These challenges need to be addressed by both you and the trainer. Once your trainer makes recommendations in regards to how you can help your dog to overcome their challenges, it will also be your job to practice these techniques frequently and consistently.

Guard Dog Training

There are certain breeds that are ideal for training as guard dogs. This list is pretty extensive, but some of the main breeds of choice include Rottweilers, German shepherds, Malinois, and Dobermans. These animals should be trained only by a professional. Too often owners take it into their own hands to teach a dog how to guard and protect their family and property and many of the techniques used tend to border on abuse and even neglect. Not only can improper guard dog training be harmful to your pet’s health but it can also cause them to become unpredictable, aggressive, fearful and anxious. This type of training is very strict and challenging and should not be handled by amateurs.

When it comes to choosing the breed of guard dog that best suits you and your family, speak with a local training facility and ask for recommendations or information on local breeders. While adopting from shelters and foster homes is a great way to save a life and add a new member to the family, in most cases it’s not an ideal option if you’re looking for potential guard dog material. This is because many of these animals are too old to begin guard dog training, and you simply know nothing regarding that animal’s history including medical problems, temperament, and past abuse. Animals that have been mistreated in the past are never chosen for guard dog training. Typically, a trainer can provide you with helpful information regarding local breeders that specialize in raising and breeding dogs for this type of training.