Aug 21, 2020 | By: Dogzies Canine School of Excellence
Maybe It’s Not The Dog
Have you ever been to a Dogzies Behavioural/Socialization Class and watched in amazement as your dog performed flawlessly for Wayne? The same dog that, when under your control, will bark at anything that moves, jump all over you, and pull you down the road on walks. Now, suddenly, almost magically, they behave like an angel; sitting on command, perfect recall, and walking with that ever elusive “loose leash”. Or maybe you’ve watched videos of Day School where your dog walks calmly in a pack, with no interest in playing with the other dogs, and stays close to us at all times…with no leash at all!
Brian Kilcommons has a theory about this behaviour…”Maybe It’s Not The Dog”.
Clients often come to us for help with their dog’s undesirable behaviours. Whether it’s jumping on people and furniture, destructive chewing, pulling on the leash, or aggression, more often than not, we are able to determine that it’s really a lack of leadership that is the issue and not the dog itself. For example, if your dog is whining or barking, do you instinctively pet them to calm them down? Or maybe, you’re excited to see your dog after work and you enjoy when they jump up and down to see you too? Whether it’s subconscious or not, you are actually reinforcing the unwanted behaviour through affection, reward, and attention. Luckily, there is usually an easy solution - leadership.
Dogs crave leadership. They yearn for structure, boundaries, and most importantly, consistency. Without a strong leader, dogs will test their boundaries. They will continuously work to find ways to get attention. So, it is of the utmost importance that attention is only given when the dog is displaying attractive behaviour. And, as soon as we see behaviour we like, we need to praise it and immediately reward it.
So next time you come home from work, try ignoring your dog until they are calm. And, next time your dog is whining, refrain from coddling them. These boundaries will go a long way in shaping the behaviours of your dog. And by all means, continue to give lots of affection when your dog is tired or calm, these are the traits that you want to strengthen.
Dogzies carries everything you’ll need to ensure that you are successful in your training. Check out our online store to look at our products and make your purchase.
* Treats: Treats are a great way to reward your pup for desirable behaviour, especially, if your dog is food motivated.