Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Obedient Owners Make Great Pet Parents

I believe that most people are under the assumption that Dog Training is just for their dog.   The hope is that by enrolling your puppy or dog in a class, Fido will learn how to behave in our human world.   I always enjoy the first night of class, meeting new families and preparing everyone for our 6 week adventure in training.    Everyone enters class with different goals and objectives, but the one thing they all have in common is wanting their dog to be better behaved and learn the 'house rules'

As a dog trainer there are two questions I get more than any others:

“How do I get my dog to stop doing (insert annoying, yet often natural, behavior here)?”

“How do I punish my dog when he’s just being bad?”

All to often these puppies and dogs are labeled difficult, aggressive, hard headed, spiteful, dominant, the list goes on and on.   When you feel frustrated with your dog’s behavior, remember that someone must teach a dog what is acceptable behavior and what is not. A dog that has not been given any instructions, training or boundaries can’t possibly know what you expect of him.   It's equally as important to understand that  WE the humans must take the time to learn how to properly teach a dog.   When students enter my class my goal is not to train your dog, but to train you how to work with your dog.    To train a dog you must understand what is normal dog behavior, how to socialize dogs, how to enrich their environment and most importantly how dogs learn.  There is so much information available on TV and the Internet it can be overwhelming and confusing.    Our society loves a 'quick fix' but in reality training a puppy or dog takes time and behavior problems are even more complicated so quick fixes as seen on TV are fantasy not reality.    We can eliminate so much of the frustration by learning a few basics about canine learning theory, which is understanding how dogs learn,.   Once we know how to communicate with our four legged friends we can be great teachers!   

We have a "Recommended Resources' link on my website to direct you to great books, websites and videos on raising and training dogs.

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