What is “training”?

“Training” is an inadequate term for all that we do to affect our dog’s behavior. HOW we do this is a choice, a “training” choice and a mindset, which affects the big picture.

“Enrichment” as defined in Cambridge English dictionary: the act or process of improving the quality or power of something by adding something else. When building a relationship by prioritizing positive emotional response and recognizing our dog’s needs, “training” should be a form of enrichment by definition- BUT… only when the human approaches it as such!

This interpretative chart by Sally Gutteridge illustrates perfectly what really matters- except that “training” is the smallest part. I beg to differ on that point. The truth is that ALL of these aspects are integral to “training” whether it be sports, life skills or behavior modification. How we affect our dog’s behavior IS “training”. Every interaction is “training” as our dogs are always learning from us. We need a different word for “training” and all that it encompasses. When you think of training, what word comes to mind? Do you have a word or two that accurately describes your training, and is it what you want it to be? My intent is to train by the definition of “enrichment”, for the lives of my dogs and for those who I am priveleged to teach. My word is “enrichment” and I do my best to meet that definition.