Obedience training is the process of teaching your dog to understand and respond to a variety of commands such as sit, stay, down-stay, walking to heel and recall (coming back when called). Effective communication and good timing is the key to achieving excellent obedience. Letting your dog know what’s expected of him/her, in a way he/she can understand, is the place to start. Dogs use body language for 80% of their communication, so it’s no wonder they view our strange idiosyncratic human tendencies with confusion. We’ve all seen dogs who tilt their heads on one side and offer a blank expression in response to our commands. Similarly, we meet many dogs who seem convinced their name must be “bad dog”, as this is the phrase they hear most often from their owners. How many dogs only ever hear their real names barked at them in anger? Is it any wonder they don’t fancy coming back if they think they’re going to be told off?
Treat training can be used to good effect in obedience training, as some dogs will do anything you ask of them for a treat, but does this ‘really’ teach them anything? In psychological terms, the treat or reward concept is classified as ‘baiting’, and will achieve certain results through trickery, much like a fisherman luring a fish onto a hook. When did you last see a dog offering treats to another?
Ultimately, the results from treat training can be somewhat limited, as they fail to teach the dog the desire to want to be with their owners unless they are paying them for the privilege with treats. In the natural canine pack instinct, leaders control all of the pack resources and never surrender food to subordinates unless they have had their fill. Instead respect is generated through consistent, reliable and effective leadership providing the pack members with a wonderful sense of safety and security. This is the process of natural selection in action, which is evident in all animals regardless of whether they are domesticated or wild.
Significantly better results can be achieved by taking the time to show and guide your dog what’s expected of him/her. Dogs aren’t born with an understanding of English or any human languages, yet we sometimes expect them to ‘hang’ on every word we say. They are however, born with an innate ability to read and interpret body language and respond to simple sounds. The canine communication system is pre-programmed genetically and therefore comes naturally to all dogs, so it follows that it should be fairly easy for them to understand their own language if we take the time to learn it. Herein lies the secret of the Bark Busters unique dog training system.
Ultimately, obedience training takes patience, perserverence and practice, but the end result is immensely fulfilling for us humans as much as our beloved dogs. There are numerous everyday situations in which an understanding of basic commands can be a life saver. A little practice in the beginning will pay big rewards for you in the end. A tailor made home based Bark Busters dog training program for your dog can make much lighter work of the obedience training process, allowing you to see results in a fraction of the time it would take in group classes.
REMEMBER … IT’S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE FOR US TO THINK LIKE A DOG, BUT IMPOSSIBLE FOR A DOG TO THINK LIKE A HUMAN.