Dog Training is About Training the Dog Owner

Posted in Training Tips

I was in Miramar 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.

dog training coonhound

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Our dogs know how to be dogs and have a natural want to be a part of our family.  We are the ones that need to understand how to direct and nurture that need in order to have great dogs. We are available at (954) 424-0170 if you have any dog training questions.  There are many more dog training articles at Best Dog Trainers Miramar South Florida.  You can also reach us at Dog Training Help Center Miramar South Florida.

I have been creating dog training blog articles for longer than I can remember and would like to share them with you if you visit Original Dog Training Tips from Home Dog Training Miramar South Florida or Dog Training Documents from Home Dog Training Miramar South Florida. These articles are based on my experiences at real dog training sessions, so they are the “real deal”.

Robin and I are so happy to be your local dog training experts for the past last eleven years.  We are always visiting Vet Clinics across Broward County and they endorse our dog training programs because their clients love our work. Besides resolving general behavior and obedience canine issues, we fix special problems such as dogs running out of the yard.  We have combined our dog training program with our invisible dog fence product from Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® to assure that your dog and family are safe, secure, and at home.  We offer a 100% free, in-home consultation and guaranteed price quote.  Just go to Dog Guard Out of Sight Dog Fence Miramar South Florida or phone us at 954-472-4724.