Dog training, what it is, what it isn’t
Most people get a dog, it does something they consider to be ‘bad’ and someone tells them they ought to get their dog ‘trained.’
But have you ever thought of what dog training really means to the dog and to you and what methods you should choose?
Dogs are pack animals. They would much prefer to be with their own kind, but humans domesticated them, and we buy them to be a companion, so they don’t really have much of a choice.
WHAT DOGS WANT
The strongest dog connection bond you will make is when you use minimal intrusion on the dogs life and make learning and their life as natural as you can in your own environment.
That may sound very general, and it has to be, because man (used as generic term here) has developed many breeds for specific reasons and the resulting dogs all have different desires from the original wolves they were created from.
The original wolves were pack animals that spent a few hours hunting at night time for their food and then ate it together as a pack, and slept much of the day. How different is that world from what you are expecting your dog to fit into?
The reality is of course in modern people’s lives the need to earn money and be entertained is high and dogs don’t often get considered in that equation. They may do when they are first acquired, but once out of the puppy stage there is a lot of neglect going on.
If you read the home page and the about (US) sections on this site, you will see that I am a strong advocate for dogs being exercised off lead at least once per day, for as long as possible. They get amazing physical and mental benefits from this as well as having their energy drained. If you have a dog that is size appropriate for your apartment or yard, then this practice will go a long way to having a dog fit into your world. They will learn much about what being social is from other dogs, and won’t want to do all those bored destructive things in your home when they get to stay at home without anyone all day.
Well that is the eventual goal.
I could tell you all the great things that I do to train my own dog, but I think it is worthwhile for me to review some practices of someone I highly respect, Cesar Milan.
You can roll your eyes because he is a celebrity dog rehabilitator shown globally on many TV screens but he just seems to know instinctually what makes dogs tick, and how to best correct their behavior. That said, there are also things he does that I don’t fully agree with, and I will also go through those points here in the next post.