Military Working Dogs (MWD) are some of the most highly trained dogs in the world, but there is no big mystery about how they are trained. The Military Working Dog Handler (MWDH) trains dogs using almost the same techniques as civilian dog trainers. Therefore, the instructions given to the specially selected MWD can also be worked with the puppy at home.

The Dogs handlers at Army Dog Center have shared their personal tips for you in order to let you train your dogs like military dogs.

So let’s begin!

Military Dogs

Take a patient, positive approach with no schedule!

 Army-inspired training methods may seem to need to be rigorous and rigorous, but not for dog training. Military trainers do not set specific schedules for dogs to meet specific benchmarks and do not try to force dogs to learn. Military dog trainers must show patience and understanding of dog handling before accepting a job. Like humans, some military dogs learn faster than other dogs, while others never learn everything you are trying to teach. Your dog is most likely to learn quickly and effectively when you avoid arbitrary goals and negative training environments. Not everyone is suitable as a dog trainer. If you know you don’t have the patience or positivity required for that role, hire a professional military dog trainer who uses military-style techniques.

Build a positive relationship with your dog from the beginning!

 It’s important to quickly identify yourself as an “alpha,” or mating leader, but it’s important to do so through friendship, not threat or violence. If your relationship with your dog has not yet been established, spend days or weeks addressing your dog’s needs before starting training. Show that you are a trusted provider. If you already have a relationship with a dog, spend a few days highlighting your role as a provider and leader. Do not treat meals, walks, cleaning, etc. as unnecessary chores, but do it yourself. Daily grooming is a great way to build positive bonds and screen military dogs for possible medical problems. Military trainers usually take care of their dogs daily.

Plan a consistent workout in a distracting place!

Military trainers may not use a strict timeline for success, but they use a predictable training schedule. Choose one or two specific times to train daily and hold a training session at the same location each time. Find a training location that doesn’t distract you, such as B. A remote location in a fenced backyard or park.  One of the reasons dogs tend to make great “soldiers” is that they usually thrive on a predictable schedule. Holding training sessions at the same time each day will help your dog enter “training mode” more easily.  Military dogs are usually trained at least 4 hours a week and at least 30 minutes a day. Aim for 30-minute or two 15-minute sessions per day, 6-7 days a week.

Rely entirely on positive reinforcement to instruct the dog!

Positive reinforcement is the recommended method for training dogs of all kinds, military styles, and more. In essence, it recognizes positive behavior immediately, praises it, rewards it, and recognizes negative behavior, but without punishment. For example, when cleaning a dog’s house, aggressive strengthening means responding immediately every time the military dogs properly “goes to the toilet”, “well-done scout, you went to the toilet. There is specific praise of “!” And physical rewards such as toys and treats. However, if the dog has an indoor toilet accident, aggressive strengthening means identifying the problem easily and instantly and eliminating the confusion “Scout went to the indoor toilet!” increase. It’s not about hitting a dog or getting your nose dirty.

Teach instructions such as “sitting” with clear verbal and hand signals!

Like a military dog handler (and most dog trainers of all kinds), time starts with one of the basic instructional commands such as “sit”, “lower”, “heel”, and “stay”. Speak the command clearly while providing clear visual cues (such as hand gestures). If necessary, provide subtle guidance such as: If your dog does not follow the command correctly, do not shout the command or show anger or resentment. Remember to stay calm and maintain a positive attitude. Teaching commands that go beyond the basics, such as “sit,” “lower,” “heel,” and “stay,” depends on your needs and your dog’s abilities. Military dogs can learn commands to detect explosives and overwhelm enemies that don’t need to be taught, but they teach in much the same way.

Reward your dog instantly, consistently, and appropriately!

Once the dog responds properly, it is important to praise and reward the military dogs, especially early in the training process. It provides verbal praise and physical rewards such as tapping the head, pulling a chewing toy, and a small treat.

When using treats as rewards, keep them small!

If not, your dog may be consuming too many calories.  Military trainers, if any, do not use treats as rewards beyond the start of training. Your goal is to turn simple verbal rewards (often simple phrases like “yes”) into what dogs crave. After all, only verbal rewards are far more practical in military situations.

Tell the dog not to do things by ignoring it-don’t punish it!

For example, if your military dogs tends to jump to you in greetings do not say “no” to your dog or give commands such as “sit”. Instead, go where the dog can’t keep up (ideally close the door so you can’t see it) and come back after about 20 seconds. Repeat this process until you consistently learn what your dog shouldn’t do as usual and reward success. Saying “no” or giving another command only confuses the dog and makes him think that unwanted behavior (such as jumping) is part of the command. Punishing a dog for reprimand or physical abuse of any kind is of no use. Since you are “alpha”, dogs crave your attention and approval. Simple neglect is a gentle form of corrective “punishment” that a dog can understand and learn.

Identify, adapt, and avoid weaknesses in your dog!

Military dogs are special dogs. For example, the US military runs its own breeding program, primarily purchasing German Shepherds, Belgian Milionis, and Pitbull. Still, only about 50% of dogs cut as military working dogs (MWD). Your dog is even less likely to have this high level of training ability, so think realistically about what he can and cannot achieve. For example, a potential MWD may not be able to identify explosives or drugs. You probably won’t train in these areas, but you may find that your dog isn’t very well suited to follow things like “foot” commands. Don’t give up completely in this area. Also, stay realistic and focus your training on other areas. Enhance your existing workouts while adding new ones. Dog training is an ongoing process and it is important to provide a “refresh” of previous training while moving on to new commands and tasks. In other words, once your military dogs has mastered it, don’t stop giving the “stay” command altogether. At the beginning of each workout, go back and enhance your “stay” (and other commands you’ve learned) for a few minutes before continuing with your current workout.