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freak out
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Dog Training Donts
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I’m no dog whisperer, I admit that. But I have successfully trained enough dogs in my time to know what doesn’t work, and it pains me to see again and again, people remonstrating with their dogs, chastising them, yelling at them and even smacking them because the poor dog doesn’t speak or understand English.

Here is a classic example of the self-defeating dog training:

Fido comes trotting proudly into the yard with a freshly killed mouse. He’s worked hard for his prize and he’s brought it home to show you how clever he is. You of course, freak out. You yell at him to get that thing outta here. His tail, one minute perky and wagging, is suddenly jammed between his legs as he bolts to a safer place, like under a bush.

You now demand he drops his prize and comes here. Come here. Come HERE. COME HERE!

By now Fido is staring at you with wide frightened eyes, probably thinking ‘What’s the problem? I brought you a nice mouse and you’re acting like you don’t want it, you ungrateful jerk.’

After twenty minutes of yelling, persuading and cajoling, Fido finally comes over to you, and what does he get? More berating and brow beating and perhaps even a smack. “I told you to come. Don’t you listen to me? How dare you bring those disgusting rats home? Next time I say come, you come, O.K.?”

Fido is thinking, ‘I have no idea what you’re saying but you just spent the last twenty minutes telling me to come and when I finally come you rip into me. Obviously coming was the wrong thing so next time I’ll stay right where I am and you can yell till the cows come home.

Another gem in the field of dog training is the classic rubbing of Fido’s nose in the pile of poo he just left behind the sofa. How would you like it? It’s disgusting and demeaning. Do people honestly thing that by yelling, rubbing his nose in it and throwing him out into the back yard is getting the message across?

How about trying a more civilised approach. From the time you bring your puppy home, start to take him out at regular times, for instance when he has had a meal. Stay out there with him as he mooches around the yard and perhaps even encourage him toward a particular place in the yard. When he eventually does a poo, congratulate him and let him back in. While he is in the house, try to keep an eye on him and if he starts to display the signs of getting ready to relieve himself, do the same again. Out into the yard, usher him to the same area, let him unburden himself and congratulate him. (The part about ushering him to the same area each time is so you don’t have to search the whole yare looking for dog bombs. They are always in the same area.)

You will find this works quite quickly and is a lot less stressful both to you and your dog.

It may sound odd that I advocate congratulating Fido for taking a dump, but it has been my experience over the years that congratulating your dog for the good things he does and being calm, and firm while not making a massive issue with the bad things he does, is far more effective than yelling and screaming when he makes a mistake. He will learn much more quickly, will not be afraid of you, and you will be less stressed.

One last thing. Although you may be sorely tempted at times, don’t hit your dog. He’s not a punch bag that you can take your frustrations out on, and even that little slap on the snout is out of order. Dogs have very sensitive snouts and whatever you may have been told by your grandfather, it does hurt. Get your grandfather to slap you on the snout and see what I mean.

Your dog is your best friend. Treat him accordingly.

Have a nice day.

Street Talk

Great article, I will focus on the dont's so I will know what to do. Thank you

  about 1 decade ago
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