All relationships are based on Love, Trust and Respect
Often people come to dog training with a long list of complaints. A lot of dog trainers address these complaints individually. However, all “behavior issues” have a common root – a lack of Trust, Respect and Leadership in the relationship. As soon as the relationship you have with your dog changes, most problems simply go away. Moreover, you begin to feel attuned to your canine companion (and him to you!) in a way that can only be described as magical!
I teach three basic drills that develop these basic qualities, change your relationship with your dog and change your dog at his/her core. Your dog will also develop a natural spirit of cooperation, and will do as asked out of a sheer desire to please you. Some issues disappear straight away, while others take a bit more time, consistent effort and love to be cured. I use positive re-enforcement (verbal praise) but also corrections (in the form of “no!”, “nope!”).
I often hear clients complain: “He doesn’t listen to me!” Or: “He’ll only do as I ask if I have a treat”. Out of sheer frustration, they become open to using a device, such as a pinch collar, on their dog and never leave the house without treats. However, this is not an ideal solution (becoming a human food dispenser is not what most people have in mind when they get a dog). Things would be different if you only had to rely on the device or the treat for a little while – but once you start using them you are stuck with them.
Dogs are amazing communicators
Dogs are natural communicators and have a variety of ways of communicating with each other. They “read” body language, smells and tones easily. Once we understand how they communicate with each other and learn to communicate with them in the way they understand – it leaves no room for confusion. This is the most natural and effective way of communicating with your dog.
No special devices or treats!
When you rely on treats or special devices (shock collars, gentle leaders, pinch collars) to control and communicate with your dog, your dog will also rely on them. He will primarily develop a relationship with the device or the treats, instead of you. It is an artificial way to relate to with your dog.
Moreover, all devices are in some way “harsh” and harmful to your dog, and pain destroys Trust in a relationship. Even devices such as harnesses, that seem so harmless, can hurt your dog (they restrict movement in the front legs which over time can lead to health problems).
For this reason I only use a wide flat collar (the wider the collar the more comfortable it is for your dog) and a sturdy leash. As for positive re-enforcement – I use verbal praise (instead of treats).
There are a lot of misunderstandings with regards to leadership.
The leader is simply the one that takes the decisions in the relationship – the decision maker. The more decisions you take the more your dog will view you as his/her leader.
To give a simple example, when on walks – it should be the human that decides when to walk or stop and which way to go. We aim to take our dog for a walk and not vice-versa.
A lot of dogs nowadays spend a lot of time in recess. Even if they spend all day with their human, they are very rarely given a job to do and are effectively free to do what they want all the time. Over time, this breeds insecurity, anxiety and reactivity in dogs. In many cases the insecurity and reactivity takes the form of aggression. A dog may be labeled as aggressive when in fact it is just very insecure and reactive.
All you have to do is ask your dog to do things, throughout the day (bring your toy, get out of the kitchen etc). In doing this, you engage the thinking part of his brain and he develops his thinking capacity – which make reactivity and insecurity automatically go down. Using the simple drills I teach will also develop his thinking capacity – and you can do the drills at any time, even while watching TV or reading a book.
Things you will learn
What your dog will learn
Often people come to dog training with a long list of complaints. A lot of dog trainers address these complaints individually. However, if you address the root cause of all problems, the lack of trust and respect in relationship and the lack of leadership – most problems disappear naturally!
READY TO LEAD YOUR DOG WITH LOVE?
The regular practice of the 3 basic drills I teach will transform your relationship with your dog and most of the problems you experience will disappear naturally.