Don’t Train your Dog… Just do not bother!

Feb 25, 2017 |

Dog training, or, in literal terms, Behaviour Modification, has been designed to turn any given behaviour A into behaviour B. Presumably, you do it in a way that turns badly behaved pooch into a better behaved, obedient and well mannered one.

But what can we say about a dog who has not misbehaved in, lets say, days, or even weeks? Can he be trained? Never happens, you’d say? Not exactly true.

It does, but only with the owner / handler taking a pro-active approach from the very start, be it from the moment of young pup entering his new home, or an older dog starting his new life in the new environment.

Dog trainers do not like talking about this dog “MANAGEMENT” issue when advising on a new case for a simple reason – it dismisses the need for their continuous services.

So what does this word Management encompass?

Not letting the bad behaviour originate / continue for a continuous period of time, plain and simple.

How long are we talking about? Once again, this is the part of the fascinating subject of individuality of each particular case / specimen.

I have to tell you that in reality the whole thing should not sound daunting or hard work. We have had dogs over the years that would join our walking round or come to board with us, and being properly supervised for as little as two or three days, were given the full freedom to continue their quickly established exemplary behaviour without any form of containment or restraint.

Sounds too good to be true? This also greatly depends on you as an instigator of a training regime. The better you are at your job, the greater those results are. So do not expect your troublesome pet, if this is the case, to do all of the learning.

OK, now we’ve come to the technical part of the discussion after having the logistics of the process covered. Without massive research into all the gadgets and gimmicks available on the modern market, the following objects spring to mind right away: dog crate, puppy pen, safe enclosures, chew deterrents, lunging rein and trailing lead, various versions of attachment (short and long rope etc), muzzle, variations of head collars & body harnesses, and many more tricks and inventions that the  modern day and age have brought us. Some of these procedures are reversible and limited in time, like your helping tools, or “technical support” and some have a much deeper effect, like neutering, medication, surgical enhancements etc. Luckily, this is not employed very often and veterinarians now are strictly prohibited from using some of these options unless they supplement on-going training.

With all this said, I would like to send you home having at least a bit to think about and a bit to do. So

A) – try to design a short, few days long, routine, where your trainee will be observed and guided, helped and controlled to the point where he / she can not put a paw wrong. No exception, no time off, no but’s and if’s; and

B) – Look up the article “Dog’s lead as communication tool” here and extend your emotional connection with your dog by a bit of a rope / soft dog lead. How long – you decide, all depends on circumstances, activities undertaken and your ability to deal with the “length of that life-line” provided.

Here we are, at the end of the chapter. Now you have tools and knowledge to implement the suggested procedures in your own time and from the comfort of your own home / office / car. (How can the dog not wish to go in a car if you just pick him up and put in, irrespectively of his desires and resistance? He’d object to it once, twice, and – bingo – all you have to do is to reward him for the compliance demonstrated.

Trainers will teach you a number of ways to encourage your dog to go into his crate at night. But see how most of them do it themselves – once – and the dog is in. No point to fight it, no reason to pull back… You are in – have a biscuit!

At the same time try not to dismiss the necessity to actively train your dog as the results of the above will make him “not bad”. But that “not bad” dog is still not a “good” dog yet. The “tricks of the trade” that make some trainers so successful is a “mix-n-match” technique of combining all the available options into that “perfect” TRAINING AND REHABILITATION routine towards achieving the desirable. D.Y.

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