19 Feb Attitude Adjustment Needed When Training Your Dog
We have been talking about leadership and respect the past few days, and I have been thinking about some of the dogs I have trained, and problems the owners have expressed with training their dog. Many of these problems keep falling back into the category of leadership and respect. Several owners (and please know that I am also guilty of this, so I am in no way pointing a finger!) are lax in setting boundaries for their dogs. Often we are great at setting rules for our kids, having expectations for our spouse, but somehow our dogs seem to fall through the cracks. If we don’t set these boundaries, our dogs will take it upon themselves to make their own rules. These rules will be the ones that we have to follow.
How many of you have “certain ways” you have to do things for your dog, or they won’t comply with what you want? A client recently told me her dog won’t eat out of a bowl, so she must feed her on newspaper. Another client stated her dog wouldn’t go outside unless she goes out first to make sure that it is okay! I want to know how we did this?? (Remember I am included in this!) Our dogs do not speak, yet they have communicated these special requests, some being extremely complex. They have told us that they don’t like our choice of dinnerware, and don’t want to go outside alone and yet we comply with their every whim! If my daughter said she didn’t like my dishes, I would say don’t eat. If my son did not want to go outside alone and I knew it was safe, I would say stay inside. Yet the control this ball of fur has over us is mind-boggling.
We need to stop, if we want their attitude to change. Really it all needs to start with us and not them. We have let them get away with ruling the roost. Why? Because it was easy. Why? Because we feel it is a way of showing them love. Why? Because they are so darn cute! I think we all are suckers for this creature they call a dog!
Gaining control again is not easy. It is a mindset. We tend to make excuses for our dogs and ourselves. The ONLY time we want to do something or put our foot down is when the dog shows some sort of aggression or dominance. That scares us. How could this loving creature turn so mean and change so quickly. Guess what, it is our fault. We let them go far to long with out us being the leader, without us setting the rules. Now we have a situation on our hands that we do not know how to handle. We call in a trainer. The trainer tells us what we already know, about rules and boundaries, yet we are hoping for some magic word or training trick that will make it so we don’t have to be the leader for the dog. We don’t want to make the dog upset or mad. We don’t want to be the bad guy in the dog’s eyes. You may laugh but MANY people feel this way. Let me say for the record, dog’s are not vindictive and do not get even. They may get agitated or frustrated, but they do not get mad. You can scream and yell at your dog, and he will still run over and lick your face. Scream and yell at your kids and see how fast they run in their room and slam the door!
What if I told you, that your dog wants you to set the rules, would that make you feel better about doing so? In actuality they do. I know this because I have studied how dogs interact, how they communicate with one another, how they get their point across to each other. Just as people do, dogs have personality, so you must set rules that your dog will be able to follow. They are going to fight you on these rules tooth and nail. The dog is a very routine animal, and you are now messing with there routine. You must stick with it. Dogs play the lottery. If they think there is any chance they will get their way, they will try and try again. Hold your ground and in about seven days, you will win! Let me warn you day 4 and 5 will be the hardest. They will try harder to get their way on those days more than any other. You must stand tall and stay strong if you truly want to change your dog’s ways.
We can help you take the right steps to changing your dogs and your attitude! Call Kim Paciotti at 704-877-7821 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org Visit our website at www.trainingcanines.com today!