Training For Willing Dog Obedience and Cooperation
Dog obedience training has sure come a long way!
Back in the "bad-old-days, so-called dog training involved "showing dogs who was boss” using heavy-handed, domineering methods. Breaking a dog down in the name of training has luckily become (mostly) a thing of the past. Modern dog training methods are based on learning theory and humane, reinforcement-based motivation. Dogs these days are recognized as beloved family members and as such are treated with consideration and respect. Teaching dogs how to behave properly and rewarding them for doing the things we want helps make misbehaviors obsolete--without the need for punishment!
Directing dogs to express their energy in desired, cooperative actions gives dogs the partnership, exercise, and stress outlets they need to feel balanced and content. Dogs that willingly cooperate with human leaders in dynamic training practices have no need to redirect pent-up energy or act out in order to draw negative attention. Fifteen minutes of training teamwork involving both mind and body is more tiring for your dog than a ten mile run; and tired dogs get into much less trouble than wired dogs!
Obedience training is the practical part of your dog’s education, and involves teaching your dog to respond to your cues in a consistently willing manner. Asking your dog to Sit, Stay, Come, Lie Down, Follow, Wait, Go (to a directed location,) Protect, Fetch, Jump Up, Jump Off, Roll-Over, Stand, Shake “Hands,” Play Dead, Assist, Guide, Find, Combat Crawl, Detect, Hunt, Get in the Tub, Hike, Tug, Release, Back-Up, Catch, Dance—whatever! If they are physically capable of it, they can be motivated to WANT to do it--provided you know how to ask them!
Before you start thinking “She hasn’t met MY DOG yet!”, or ponder how obstinate, stubborn, and testy your dog is, allow me to mention: The smarter the student, the more intelligent the teacher must be! Some of the most well trained dogs I know were once the naughtiest, at least from their peoples’ perspectives. Consider the dog’s hypothetical point of view: If your leadership doesn't make sense, or gain better results than can be had playing “lone wolf,” why would your dog opt to follow you?
My obedience training works with a dog’s intelligence in a respectful manner. When all of that determination, will, and energy are working with you, you will have an awesome ally! Methods that dominate, threaten, and punish cause dogs to want to quit or fight back. Suppressing and restraining dogs is not training; it impedes their education. Positive reinforcement dog training, based on modern scientific research, helps dogs learn without force. Dogs must be encouraged to confidently experiment in a safe manner and to learn where the best outcomes are always found--through cooperative choices with their human partners!
If you would like to learn how to improve your dog's connection, motivation, and cooperation, sign up for one of my Chicago area dog obedience training classes or call to discuss the best training options for your dog: 708-323-2722.