All of us who love dogs wouldn’t intentionally cause them pain. They are our true friends. Our faithful friends. Unconditional love.
Your dog’s unabashed love for you is one of the reasons you love your dog so much. Your dog wears his heart on his sleeve and he’s definitely in love with you, you, you! The way he greets you when you walk in the door, the always faithful walking companion, and the dog that needs his head on your shoe when he hangs out with you.
I talk to people everyday who love their dog like this. These folks delight in their dog. And their dog returns the emotion ten-fold.
When the talk turns to training, though, I occasionally hear things like “stubborn,” “hard headed,” and “corrections.”
This is the same dog who can’t wait for you to walk through the door, right? The dog that would walk over hot coals to get to you, yes? The dog whose devotion is unmatched?
So why the double-talk?
It’s because for so many years we didn’t know better and we didn’t really know how to teach dogs how to do what we asked.
We just strong armed them into doing it and we considered that a success. And success begets more “success,” — or, really, more strong-arming. The more it looks like making a dog do something works well, the more we tend to do it.
Thanks to the new studies on the canine mind, we’re learning that the old fashioned way — punishment, corrections, shock — are not really the fastest and easiest way to train our dog.
Teaching the dog what you’d like him to do, then noticing and rewarding him when he does is actually the fastest way to teach a dog something — anything!
Which should make all dog owners delirious with delight. No longer do you have to use corrections, prong collars, shock collars, e-collars, or stim-collars.
Deep down you didn’t want to do it anyway, but it’s the way dogs had always been trained, and you may not have known there was another way.
Think about how much you love your dog. How much your dog loves you. Teach your dog like you love your dog.