Providing Leadership For Your Dog
I believe that a fundamental element of you having a dog which fits into the boundaries we set in our society is the leadership you provide your dog. A dog who has guidance it can trust is by far a better dog than the dog who is forced into that position.
My work usually involves us going right back to basics. There is little point trying to train a recall in the park if the dog doesn’t listen to you in the home!! We set the scene where you set the boundaries and provide the guidance for your dog so that it can make choices,the right choices. Training is about cooperation and understanding between the owner and the dog. We need to be rewarding the positive and re-directing the negative. It is about making you factor high in whats important to your dog. You need to be fun and hold all the things which your dogs considers important. You then become important, someone the dog wants to try and please and take notice of.
This is achieved through kindness, being consistent and persistent in the boundaries you set. Leadership does not mean dominance, being the pack leader, physical abuse, electric collars and other outdated means of control. It is about setting boundaries for your dog in a kind and positive way so both people and the dogs can live together. These boundaries are no different than the ones we set in our society or for our children. We, as a species, accept there will be a consequence for our actions. If dogs are to live with us then they need to live to those standards. We re-focus unwanted behaviour in a positive and non-physical way by being persistent and consistent in the communication we give our dogs. We can soon teach the dog that the behaviours we want are rewarding and those we don’t want will not be rewarding. A well trained dog will no longer decide what is rewarding and what isn’t and so make bad choices.
Once we have this balance correct then we can look at the issues which you were concerned about. Sometimes once we have changed the status quo the issues are minimal or non existent.