22 May Is Faster Better?
The Quick Fix
It seems everyone today is so focused on time and urgency (myself included!) that we often forget there are many things that are better done at a slower pace. In fact one of the cellular phone companies even has a commercial out now where they interview kids on what is better, slower or faster. They go through a series of questions geared towards a child’s thinking and ask the kids what is better to be slower or faster. They have managed to have the kids convinced that being faster is always better!
Training your dog is something that is much better when approached at a SLOWER pace. Watching shows on television where they show a dog can be trained in an hour are so misleading to the public. People tend to forget how much camera footage and editing goes into an hour show. Not to mention they are not going to show you all the blunders both owners and dogs encountered. This is also unrealistic and unfair to dog owners as they begin to not only question their dog’s intelligence but also question their own intelligence as a trainer. I have heard so many times “they make it look so easy on TV!” Yes they do, but remember it is television. Another item that they have to go for on the television is the “WOW” factor. They want you to keep watching and be amazed at what is accomplished so fast! What bothers me most about these shows is that they base it more on drama than education. They say the dogs have to have rules boundaries and limitations, they absolutely do, however they don’t get it by making a shush sound and rolling the dog on their back. They don’t get it by choking them and dangling them in the air on a prong collar. They get it by mutual respect and direction, but most of all they learn more through your love and attention.
What you don’t see behind the scenes are some of the controversy that is going on today regarding styles of training. The dominance training of the past has really taken a beating (as it should, no pun intended!). These training techniques may work but only in the short term. Not to mention what we have learned about how much stress our dogs go through when these methods are used.
If we get better results with positive reward based training then why doesn’t everyone use them? Because it takes time. It takes time to build the relationship with your dog. Think of when you met your spouse or a boyfriend or girlfriend. It took time to develop deep feelings for that person. It did not happen overnight. It took time for both of you to learn the likes and dislikes of the other, how to communicate well, and accomplish tasks together. It is the same for you and your dog.
Do what is best for your dog and yourself, take a slower approach to your training. Not only will you have better results in the long run, it is really fun to spend the time working with your dog each and every day!