What if there was a way of using just one key word or command to gain your dogs immediate attention and cooperation when all else fails?
There is . . .
Bad out of control dog behaviour can drive even the most patient dog owner up the wall or worse, send the dog into a dog’s home, rejected and unwanted thus causing further heartache, frustration and later guilt.
Sometimes a dog’s loopy uncontrolled behaviour pushes many unprepared and inexperienced dog owners to the end of their tether due to changing lifestyle such as a new home location or longer working hours or the birth of a new baby etc. This can be all it takes to bring some dog ownership to an end and it doesn’t need to be this way.
Whether you own an adult dog or puppy, they were never born bad or naughty, they were shaped by their environment that they grew up in which includes their owner’s treatment towards them and generally all-round influences of anything and everything they come into contact with in the household.
Dogs are born literally with a blank canvas and everything that comes into them has been absorbed from their surroundings in which they are brought up in and in many cases it is the lack of understanding and correct training of the owners that is at the root of the problems.
It’s not genetics!
It’s not genes!
It’s not some collective pre-programming passed on from the mother!
It’s environmentally absorbed, in the moment learnt behaviour!
For arguments sake let’s say the dog is what they are due to the inconsistency of proper training or bad training from an amateur dog owner. Irrespective of the reasons, the dog’s needs and guidance or direction have not been met and understandably the average dog owner cannot do this all on their own, it’s too much!
One thing you can be sure of as a dog owner is that you are knowingly, unintentionally or accidentally reinforcing your dog’s unwanted or bad behaviour and this is a fact.
Your responses and or annoyed reactions are enhancing the dog’s unwanted behaviour.
From the dog’s point of view it does not know bad behaviour, it just knows behaviour or energy output and it constantly chases after goals or rewards and everything that the dog discharges usually brings back a response or a reward which in turn satisfies and gratifies the dogs constant need for stimulation and interaction which can involve tearing, chewing furniture and so on.
Dogs are treated too much like humans and loving dog owners definitely lose track of the dog’s boundaries which must hold discipline and know where the animal should be as most good and loving dog owners are constantly pouring affection and love on the dog without any awareness or understanding of the essential borders and boundaries of the canine world.
This will only cause confusion for the dog as it creates some sort of ambivalence or fusing of more than one thing running at the same and everything becomes fused and muddled as just one mass of energy output, in other words crazy or loopy dog behaviour.
A dog has an internal map of his surroundings and his territory and needs to be corrected so it has the right information on it so the dog understands where his boundaries are. It is the dog’s owner that doesn’t understand this.
A good example would be allowing the dog on the furniture which is a mistake.
Once you teach your dog where the boundaries are then he will come to recognise the dos and don’ts and that behaviour will have a positive influence and knock-on effect in other areas.
Most dog owners who have problem dogs are unknowingly rewarding their dog for their bad behaviour by providing wrong responses to its behaviour.
Remember, from a dog’s perspective or point of view it’s not misbehaving, it’s just doing what it’s learnt or what you taught it without realising it.
Complete miscommunication and misunderstandings are rife with dogs and dog owners.
There are many techniques available and so many training approaches and methods where everyone has a different opinion. It is also fair to say that all methods will work in some way at some time as there are many variables at work including the dog’s temperament, the type of breed including the threshold and patience of the dog owners.
There are endless arrays of approaches for dog problems which start to become technical and complicated for many dog owners with talk of words like operant conditioning, conditioned behavioural responses, positive reinforcement, flooding and so on.
When in fact the most simplistic and minimalistic approach is the most successful.
Good professional dog trainers are often physically still, they are not moving around or their hands aren’t moving nor are they saying any more words than they need to when they deliver a command or an instruction to produce a successful response and this usually leads to physical contact, tactile and verbal praising and/or a food treat to reinforce that behaviour.
Here is a simple technique that will work for you especially if you’re a struggling amateur dog trainer or dog owner.
Don’t try a whole array of dog training approaches or commands and instructions – it’s too much and it’s too fast or too soon!
Take this one training instruction and drum it into the dog and yourself.
Whether your dog sits upon command or not, use the sit command repetitively as follows:
Firstly have some high-end rewards like delicious mouthwatering treats. The treats need to be food that they don’t normally receive such as delicious sausage, slices of steak or even pieces of cheese. Foods like these will have your dog’s full undivided attention.
Bring the delicious mouthwatering slices of food up to the front of the dog, in front of his face and say sit and when he sits offer him a small piece of the treat, only a small piece and in between when it starts to move or become impatient or even jump up, say the words uh uh, uh uh, which means No and wait for him to sit again and then offer him the treat and praise him verbally.
Do this for 15 minutes multiple times and walk around the house, just you and him offering up the treat in different locations in different positions getting him to sit each time repetitively drumming into the dog and every time he sits he will receive the delicious treat.
Ideally do this twice a day maybe morning and evening every single day for the next two weeks over and over and over again and again so that you are literally mastering this one command or instruction and make it pure and free of any other distractions.
Just sit and wait and then when he sits give him the treat. Perfect this exact moment when he sits as it is at that precise moment when he sits that he receives the treat and the praise and once he understands this he will be sitting for you before you even get the treat out of the hand or the bag.
If you repetitively drum this one command into the dog it will become automatically applicable to all scenarios so that when he is jumping on the furniture or jumping on you or a visitor you say the word SIT and he will instantly sit.
Once this is in place your dog won’t be able to resist it, he will have to sit as you request it and now you have a command that is in place and every time you want him to stop being naughty he simply will.
You don’t need to be learning lots of techniques just develop this one sit command and do it brilliantly. Once in place you can use this at any time for all scenarios.
Put it this way, you’ll be a much better position in two weeks time as regards controlling your dog than you are now.
Trying this technique for a few minutes with a few biscuits is not going to work as well. You need to give this your full on attention and you will have success.
Of course this is not the be all and end all this doesn’t resolve other behavioural problems but it will give you some control over the dog, possibly a control that you don’t have now at certain times like when the door opens to a visitor etc.
Simple minimalistic, straight to the point approaches without all the complex surrounding jargon will work.
Copyright Open College UK Ltd
Please feel free to link to this post. Please do not copy – its owned.