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Dog training is the application of behaviour analysis which uses the environmental events of antecedents and consequences to modify the behaviour of a dog, either for it to assist in specific activities or undertake particular tasks, or for it to participate effectively in contemporary domestic life. While training dogs for specific roles dates back to Roman times at least, the training of dogs to be compatible household pets developed with suburbanization in the 1950s.
A dog learns from every interaction it has with its environment. This can be through classical conditioning, where it forms an association between two stimuli; non-associative learning, where its behaviour is modified through habituation or sensitisation; and operant conditioning, where it forms an association between an antecedent and its consequence.
There are a variety of established methods of animals training, each with its adherents and critics. Some of the better known dog training procedures include the Koehler method, clicker training, motivational training, electronic training, model-rival training, dominance-based training, and relationship-based training. The common characteristics of successful methods are knowing the animal's attributes and personality, accurate timing of reinforcement and/or punishment and consistent communication. The use of punishment is controversial with both the humaneness and effectiveness questioned by many behaviourists.
Dog training is teaching a response to cues or commands, or the performance of actions not necessarily natural to the dog, and also raising a dog accommodated to his environment by modifying natural digging, barking and eliminating behaviors. Dog training is defined as the purposeful changing of a dog's behavior.
Dog training can be socialisation to the domestic environment, basic obedience training or training for specialized activities including law enforcement, search and rescue, hunting, working with livestock, assistance to people with disabilities, entertainment, dog sports, detection and protecting people or property.