When most people think of dog training, they think that it is teaching the dog to do things such as sit, down and come. In reality every dog, even a nine week old puppy knows how to do these things already. So we are not really teaching them anything new. Rather we are teaching the dog or puppy to respond to human words for each skill or behavior.
This way you can get your dog or puppy to do things, when you want or need them to follow through. We have experienced the situation where your dog responds to your commands easily in and around the house, but when you are out in the world they tend to be preoccupied to listen to your commands.
Puppy training is really a way of opening up a line of communication with your dog or puppy, In this your dog will be better prepared to do what your are requesting them to do. Dog training is really about creating a situation where your dog understands that after they do what you want them to do, that they will be able to do what they want to do. Dog training is an exchange. “Do what I want and you can do what you want.” When we set up this mind set in our dogs, they tend to be more compliant with your requests.
Yes, most of our training revolves around motivating our dog to want to do what we want them to do. Our dogs do often understand what their we want them to do. It is that they just do not see the point of doing it. This is especially true when we offer repetitively boring and seemingly senseless instructions. Remember, these instructions are totally at odds with their much more pressing and exciting doggy desires. It is when we neglect this motivation that it leads to more pressing problems that require dog behavior modification.
So you see, it is not so much that your dog that is being stubborn or dominant, but rather, it is us who has failed to offer the proper motivation that acknowledges our dog’s needs and feelings. We must set a pattern of a give and take exchange and build trust in training by approaching training from our dog’s point of view.
When we can answer the question for our dogs, “What’s in it for me?” Then we will be able to get our dogs to follow through for us.The answer, of course, is “You will be able to do what you want… after you do what I want.”