I was in Suwanne yesterday with a new Home Dog Training client and his Coonhound, Katie. Like most Coonhounds, Katie was extremely friendly towards everyone and everything. Displaying another trait of the breed, she was very high energy. These factors led to the inappropriate actions she displayed. She loved to jump on everyone, run to the front door to greet new people, overpower other dogs on walks, always requiring my client’s constant attention, nipped when she wasn’t getting her way, and loved to steal just about anything. We got most of those things taken care of on our first visit. My client was very excited with the results and commented that he felt like I was training him more than Katie.
My client was absolutely correct when he told me that he felt I was training him far more than training Katie. Our dogs pretty much understand how to be dogs. Unlike humans, they don’t lie or cheat. They are not vindictive or vain. The most important thing that they want is the same thing that their mommy gave them when they were born. They simply want safety, security, and health.
As with their puppyhood experiences, they can only achieve these things if they are part of a strong group. When we refer to dogs, we call the group a pack. We (humans) would refer to that group as a family. They simply want to fit in and belong. They don’t want to be the leader, simply a member.
In trying to be part of that group, they often look at our actions as counterproductive to their membership and we often show ourselves as weak and inconsistent. Because of this, they feel that they may need to step up and run the group to keep it strong to maintain safety and security. Because of this, we often see their actions as annoying and inappropriate.
Here is where the “rub” occurs. As in Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here is a failure to communicate”. In order to overcome this obstacle, one of us needs to learn the other’s language. It is far easier for us to learn “how to speak dog” than for our dog to learn “how to speak human”.
The first thing we teach every one of our human dog clients is how to understand their dog. There are four, simple things they must understand in order to successfully communicate with their dog and gain their bond, trust, and respect.
- Dogs see the world from a very simplistic point of view. Everything to them is either right or wrong. They have no ability to induce logic in their thought process and their rules and actions are based on that fact.
- In their group, there is one leader and everyone else are followers. The leader tells everyone else what to do and the rest naturally follow. There is no assistant leader or night shift leader.
- Our dogs learn through immediate results. As soon as they do something wrong, they will correct with the goal of getting the other animal’s focus and respect. They then guide them to the correct answer and acknowledge that the correct action has taken place.
- Our dogs use the same methods of communication as us, but in a different hierarchy. We (humans) use speech as our main form of communication. After that, we use our body language to posture and finally a passive physical action such as a nudge or tap for escalation. Dogs use their body language as their main form of communication. Eighty percent of their communication is through body language to show dominance (follow me) or submission (OK, I will do what you want). After that, they use their sounds such as barking or whining to direct attention to them. If needed, they will then escalate to a passive physical action such as a nip. (Remember, a dog does not think that a nip hurts.)
These simple concepts are all that our clients need to know to have a great dog. When they use these tools to interact with their dog, the dog naturally and gladly responds in a positive manner. They now feel happy, safe, secure, and a part of the group.
Please call us at (770) 718-7704 it you are in need of any dog training help. We have a lot of good dog training advice at Best Dog Trainers Suwanne Georgia. Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Suwanne Georgia.