Mandy's Training Outline
Having a dog who is a pleasure to live with, rather than a nightmare, is a matter of giving your dog what he needs: Clean lines, Consistency, and a Confident, Competent leader who takes care of his/her dog's physical and psychological needs.
It is easy to know when all of these needs are not being met- you can guarantee one or many behavioral issues will arise. Where things get a bit dicey is figuring out where the gaps are if things are not going well. Maybe he has anxiety about going outside, or barks at other dogs uncontrollably, maybe he acts really "weird" around kids and you are not sure how to help him realize that everything's okay. That's where I come in- I can teach you how to read your dogs body language- so that you can use what I teach you today, on something that comes up with this dog, or any other dog you have, for the rest of your life. In truth I am more of a people trainer, training you how to be more effective in working with your dogs.
The 4 steps to a happy lifestyle with your dog: Clean lines, Consistency, and a Confident, Competent leader who takes care of his/her dog's physical and psychological needs.
Clean lines: You need to define in YOUR mind clean, straight lines of correct and incorrect behavior for your dog. How can your dog understand these 100% if it is not clear in your head?
Consistency: You MUST be consistent in correcting incorrect behavior 100% of the time. Dogs respect a leader who is CONSISTENT. Dogs are consistent in their reactions, and they expect you to be too. Being consistent gives dogs a sense of security and confidence in their surroundings. They NEED to be confident in knowing how to keep the peace in the household- this is key to motivating your dog to behave.
Confident Leader: You need to embrace your role as the leader of the household, and take that load off of your dog. Dogs are MUCH happier when they know that it is not their job to make sure everyone in the house is; where they should be at all times, safe, acting the way they should, and know their place in the pecking order (below him/her). This is not your dog’s job, it is yours. Your dog will gladly surrender this spot to you if he trusts that you are up to the responsibility- this is where it is important you know you stuff! There are 4 areas that you can show that you can and will be the leader of the pack.
Moving from room to room, inside to outside etc.
When guests arrive.
Conduct in everyday life.
Competent Leader who takes care of his/her dog’s physical and psychological needs: You cannot expect your dog to behave if his body is telling him that he has 1000 calories he HAS to burn off today, and he is locked up in the house for hours on end. You also cannot expect a dog to behave if his mind is saying that it NEEDS stimulation, and he is locked up in a back yard with nothing challenging his mind to expand. A competent owner knows that these are needs that are as important as food and water to their dogs, when it comes to keeping them healthy and happy.
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© 2010 Amanda Miller