Have a Dog? You Are a Trainer

confess: I’m completely fascinated with animal conduct and “training.” I give it some thought on a regular basis – a lot so, that I even take into consideration most human-human interactions when it comes to primary rules of animal conduct and studying principle. I’m not alone; many trainers I do know fortunately describe themselves as “behavior geeks.” 

However, I’ve noticed that many canine house owners are not all that focused on schedules of reinforcement or counter-conditioning; they don’t wish to must evaluation their Psychology 101 textbooks or observe for hours to enhance the timing of their marking and reinforcing abilities. They don’t need to be canine trainers; they only need their canines to behave higher!

But give me two minutes, and I’ll attempt to persuade any proprietor that she already is a canine coach! “Look at the behavior you have already taught your dog!” (There have to be one thing; virtually everybody has taught their canine to at the least sit on cue.) I’ll say, “Would you feel like a more accomplished trainer if you had taught a duck to sit on cue? Or your cat? And if so, what’s the difference? Why do we get upset or frustrated if we can’t easily teach our dog to do something, but we’d consider it a major accomplishment if we taught our cat or a duck to do the same thing?”

I’ve a principle: Because we now have folded canines into our lives so completely, as a result of they share our meals and beds, we now have come to anticipate rather more human conduct from them. We are sometimes dismayed after they show regular canine conduct similar to barking, leaping, foraging for meals, desirous to run (not stroll) in all places, and so on. Maybe we didn’t thoughts (and even discover) all that doggy conduct 30 years in the past, when canines lived largely outside (or within the storage) and even perhaps roamed freely throughout the day. But after they act like canines in our properties – gosh! 

Remember, as acquainted as your canine is to you, as a lot as you’re keen on him, he’s not a human; the truth is, he’s a special species of animal, not not like a cat or duck. Make positive your expectations of his conduct are real looking – that you just enable your canine to behave like a canine (at the least typically) – and provides your self some credit score for instructing him the issues he has discovered up to now. You’re a coach! Don’t resist studying a bit extra, so that you could be an excellent higher coach and revel in your canine extra. 


We remorse that two titles have been inadvertently left off our record of really helpful DVDs in “How to Reform a Reactionary” within the January 2020 challenge. They are: 

Brown, Ali. “Reactive Dog Classes: On the Road to Reality.” Tanacacia Press, 2012.

Brown, Ali. “Scaredy Dog! Understanding and Rehabilitating Your Reactive Dog Seminar DVD.” Great Companions, 2005. 

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