HOW CONFUSION ARISES
Look at life from your dog’s point of view…
In nature, your dog is from a pack. He has now been transferred from the canine pack and been placed in his human pack. The owners expect him to instantly understand his new situation. He doesn’t, of course, because dogs don’t understand the human world.
The owners use their own language and logic to convey their requirements and are surprised when the dog fails to understand what they want the dog to do. They persuade, coerce, perhaps even force the dog to comply. Owners fail to realise that their dog does not think in the same way as they do. They provide a message which the dog often then interprets in a totally different way to that intended by the owner. Your dog is now confused …
HOW YOUR DOG SEES YOUR ‘PACK’
In this respect, a natural canine pack is very similar in structure to a human family, where the parents provide direction in a suitable environment and the older children assist with the younger ones or maybe have chores to do to help out.
Dogs in human packs need to see their owners as competent decision-makers in order to feel safe. Once that relationship is established, the dog will co-operate with its owners for the greater good of the pack, just as he would in nature.
THE PROBLEM …
The result? At best, the dog is confused as to what the owners expect.
At worst? Aggression, biting, stress, delinquency!
The dog’s behaviour can be completely mystifying to the owner. Why is my dog barking all the time? Why is he biting me? Why does he destroy the kitchen when I go out? Why does he bark and lunge at other dogs?
Because he truly believes it is his job to do these things!
… AND THE SOLUTION
EFFECTIVE TRAINING TECHNIQUES
Remain calm and relaxed at all times and be consistent when applying your training. Don’t use different words for a particular behaviour. It’s not your dog’s fault if he doesn’t understand what you want. Identify where you are going wrong and change the way you are training him. Be enthusiastic when your dog gets it right. Make his tail wag. Remember to have fun!
TRAINING IN PRACTICE – PULLING ON THE LEAD
Pulling on the lead is a very common dog behaviour problem. Very often pulling starts when the dog realises that when he pulls, the owner follows. The dog needs to understand that when you take him for a walk, he is going with you on your walk, not the other way round!
In this YouTube clip, Dog Guardian Nigel Reed demonstrates how to get your dog to walk nicely on a loose lead. His clear and relaxed presentation style shows you how to progress through each stage – all in under 10 minutes…