Training or Rehabilitation: What Does Your Dog Need?

Does your dog need training… or rehabilitation? Many owners don’t know that general training isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. For example, Obedience training won’t help a fearful, reactive, or aggressive dog; in those situations, more in-depth help – like rehabilitation – is required.

General Training

There are different types of training options, starting with Basic [or, Beginners] Obedience. From there, obedience training can advance to more challenging levels, or – if desired – one can even take their dog through Rally Obedience courses. Other types of training are Search and Rescue, scent detection [also called “nose work”, which is used for drug-sniffing or bomb location work] police K-9, and etc.


In a nutshell, rehabilitation is a process in which the dog, over time, is slowly and carefully exposed to whatever is triggering their reactivity or aggression. Depending on the severity and duration of the problems, this process can take weeks or even months. Most dogs requiring rehabilitation are placed into board-and-train programs with a trainer or trainers who devote many hours every day to helping the dog recover and re-learn how to live in a calmer, more peaceful state. Rehabilitation comes with several risks not only to the trainer, but to other animals and/or people the trainer may be utilizing to help the dog – bites and attacks being the highest risks.

If you aren’t sure about whether your dog needs training or rehabilitation, schedule a consultation with the trainer you’re considering hiring. The consultation allows the trainer to see firsthand the behaviors your dog is presenting and your reactions or responses to them, and they can give you guidance about what type of help would be most beneficial to you and your dog.

Have a great day, and remember: Stay calm, and lead on.


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