Attitude is an important part of learning how to communicate with your dog…It can make the difference between success and failure.
If you approach teaching your dog with negativity, nervousness, apprehension, anger, dominance or aggression you will not only fail, you will change who your dog is, and it will break that wonderful spirit.
How does my dog tick?
First, it’s important to understand how your dog ticks – is he smart, traumatised, bossy, silly, soft or just confused? What is his background? Is he rescued? Taken off his mum too early? What does he eat?
Lots of questions should be answered before you even start.
If you don’t actually see first where your dog’s head actually is at, you will be ‘training’ from the wrong premise.
An example of this is – Taking a strong stance with a softy dog….Little Amy is quiet and withdrawn and you are teaching her to sit. In a very firm voice you say SIT AMY! She won’t do it for you, because she is so worried about being in trouble as a result of your cranky voice (as she sees it), that is all she can focus on. Amy could just be whispered to and needs lots of praise even as she is moving that butt toward the floor.
Is your attitude serious? Do you think that there are rigid ways of ‘being’ with your dog. A lot of training techniques dictate dogs being kept outside, withdrawal of affection and military style ‘obedience’. But is that really the way to go?
How is your dog part of the family?
We prefer to think that your dog is unique. He or she is part of your family with special needs and wants and they should be a joy to have around you.
Everyone has different rules – Allowed on the lounge, or not. Outside during the day but in at night. Always at your side and spoiled rotten. It is a personal choice and your needs and expectations should all be taken into account and it all should be conducive to your dog’s welfare and happiness.
Many people are frustrated because they have a vision of how the dog is going to be and they are disappointed he does not live up to their expectations. That is a shame because it just shows that you don’t actually understand how to get the best out of your dog and everyone ends up suffering. A frustrated or angry or too soft approach can be detrimental.
How does my ‘Attitude’ affect my dog?
Attitude is almost everything. Training should be approached from an understanding and it’s really all about confidence. If you are not confident, you dog will surely act accordingly – they will be hesitant and confused. Over confidence can lead to a confused dog too.
A dog needs to be shown very clearly what you want from them. Yelling at them will get you nowhere. Being angry or unsure or too hard or too soft will backfire too.
Showing and guiding in a way that ‘he gets’, is so important. Being calm is imperative. A calm, understanding approach will go a long way to a happy relationship.
Above all it should be FUN. You don’t have to be strict and unwavering in your attitude. When your are advised by anyone it is important to question that advice if it does not sit right with you. Do you think that the harsh military style is for you? It won’t be for your dog.
Dog Training should be more about communication and education, fun and trust.
No one size fits all and you need to look a little deeper than just standing in the middle of a field teaching your dog to walk on a lead.
Good communication means patience, fun, directness and understanding. It means that you should be guided by someone you trust and who you can feel comfortable with. It means that you are willing to work at it and possibly see your dog in a different light.
Coming from a position of understanding and being confident with a sense of fun and kindness is better for everyone. Dog Training should enhance and not stifle. It should enrich your relationship and it should also be uncomplicated.
Simple techniques suited to your dogs temperament, your lifestyle, your environment and your personality should all go hand in hand.
And if you approach it with the right attitude it will make all the difference in the world.