How many of you have been in a situation where you’re out with your dog, either in public or even in your own yard, you ask your dog to come to you or to leave something alone or put their butt on the ground. They turn, look at you and you know KNOW they’re about to give you the finger.
By give you the middle finger, I mean they give you a “there’s no way in hell I feel like doing that right now and you can keep on wishing” look.
Here’s the thing. It happens to everyone, including myself. The reason this happens is either because your dog doesn’t know EXACTLY what you’re asking them to do. You may have started training a behavior but your dog wasn’t 100% on it yet. There might a BUNCH of distracting things around you when you asked for the behavior. Your dog wasn’t mentally equipped to process performing the behavior and being stimulated by the distractions and the distractions won out. You may not have had a “conversation” with your dog in a while. By conversation, I just mean you’re communicating with them in a way they understand. This could be training a new behavior, or increasing the criteria of a behavior they already know, such as asking for a down-stay for a longer period of time than they were performing before. Or possibly moving a greater distance away from them than you had before. Or, you might combine play with using for some random behaviors that they know just to have them use their mental muscles while getting some physical exertion in there at the same time. Or, they just might not WANT to actually listen to you.
The point I’m trying to get at there is that training your dog is so incredibly important. It’s important because it allows your dog to continually learn, to continually expand their minds and allow their own skill sets, self confidence, and self control to grow. It’s also important because they’re constantly looking to interact with you.
Imagine being in a world where no one spoke to you in a way you understood. That’s what dogs live with when they’re in a one-dog household and no one knows how to train a dog. They don’t know what the rules are. They have to figure that out by trial and error. They don’ know what the pecking order of the house is. They have no idea what’s expected of them other than when they periodically get pet throughout the day.
Now imagine the same place but someone is telling you throughout the day what they want from you and interacting with you. Someone is communicating what the rules are, what’s expected of you, telling you when yo’ve crossed the line and when you need back off, and giving you more freedoms because you now KNOW what the rules are and are following them.
Training don’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out thing either that has to be planned and marked on a calendar, or something that stresses you out. Have fun with it. Take the wins as well as the losses. Know that when you’re working with your dog, you’re building the bond. You’re building that relationship into something that will be there for as long as you want it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little bit for me and if you’re reading this (this is a longer post if I do say so), THANK YOU. So. Much. I really do love helping those who need it and I love the smiles on peoples faces when they realize just how incredibly smart their dogs are.
If you liked the info in this post, take a moment a subscribe to the mailing list here. That way you’ll never miss me telling you how to deal with your pups problems or how to handle them being plane old annoying. Again, thank you for reading and I’ll talk to you soon. Love on your dogs today, and Happy Training.