What Color is Your Dog?®

Spectum New

One of the biggest misconceptions about dog training is thinking that one technique will work with any dog regardless of its personality. If new dog owners and trainers would take the time to get to know their dog and understand what type of dog they are dealing with, and do dog training based upon that personality, more dogs would end up being trained. Unfortunately, many dogs never get the chance to be trained because their personality was never taken into account. Frustrated owners then return large numbers of dogs back to breeders, animal shelters, rescue groups, and humane societies, and the dogs miss out on the happy, loving homes they almost had.

What dog owners need is a system that helps them make sense of their dog’s personality and then adapts their training approach to the animal’s temperament. That’s exactly the job What Color is Your Dog?® was designed to do! Owners are taught to recognize their dog’s personality and place it on a color-coded temperament sorter that they can then use to find the best techniques for that specific type of dog. Each personality “color” has its own unique styles, techniques, and methods.

This system can help you to have realistic expectations of training by helping you anticipate how your dog will respond to training. The closer your dog is to the center of the spectrum, in general, the easier the training is going to be. You can see that the yellow dog is in the center of the spectrum. This is the easiest dog to train. The green dogs are a little apprehensive and cautious and will be a little more challenging. As we move a little farther away we come to the blue dog, which is VERY afraid of things and people. The same thing applies as we move to the orange dog. This is a dog that is high strung and somewhat out of control, and will be more challenging than a yellow dog.

As we move farther away from the center of the spectrum, we see the red dog, which is VERY high strung and out of control. The good news is that your dog might not always stay the same color. As he begins to learn and understand a red dog might become an orange dog, and an orange dog might become a yellow dog. A blue dog might become a green dog, and a green dog might become a yellow dog. Your dog will always move to the center of the spectrum.

Here is the point: you would never train a red dog like a blue dog. As a matter of fact, the ways you train the warmer-colored dogs (oranges and reds) and the cooler-colored dogs (blues and greens) are going to differ greatly. Warmer-colored dogs in general are going to be more high-strung and need more control. Your actions will strive for more control with the dog. Your voice might be a little more firmer, and you might be using “stay” a little bit more. On the other hand, with cooler-colored dogs you are going to use a style that involves more motivation, likely using treats. Your voice might even be a little more friendly and upbeat than when working with a warmer-colored dog. To sum things up, the way you walk, talk, move, reward, correct, and even the tools you are going to use are going to differ like night and day between cooler and warmer-colored dogs.