February 1, 2016 by The Dog Rules
I began writing this blog with the intention of sharing some of the lessons that dear Dog taught me over our nearly 16 years together. When she came along I had already raised and trained many dogs using the standard training techniques that were, at the time, considered to be tried and true methods. Most of them included using a “lure” or a “treat” as the reward for a behaviour successfully performed. Little Dog proved to be the exception to the rule.
Almost all general training instructions tell the human to reward their animal with a “treat” which is generally interpreted to mean a food reward. This is a time-tested method that applies to most (not all) animals. You teach puppy to “sit” and when puppy complies you present the treat as reward for compliance.
When this works for most of the animals you can easily find yourself lulled into a sense of comfort that you really know what you are doing and the animal ought to respond/react accordingly. Thankfully most of them fit the model. What do you do with the ones who don’t? Are they stupid? Just stubborn? Untrainable? Or are you just missing something in the communication?
“Training is not a luxury, but a key component to good animal care. Everyone who has a pet should understand that basic fact. Training is a way to enhance the quality of life for our pets. It is far more than teaching a dog to do a cute trick. Training is how to teach a dog (or any animal) how to live in our world safely.” – Ken Ramirez
When I adopted Dog, at the tender age of 7 weeks, we began in my familiar territory. She learned at an amazing rate by my using the “tried and true” methods for house training a puppy. By the age of 9 weeks she knew that she was to “go outside”. I thought this was going to be easy. Just like all the others.
I was wrong…
(Stay tuned for bi-weekly posts of my insights and training tips.)