Are they enthusiastic and quick to react?
Or will they grudgingly obey?
What if you ask them to sit? move out of your way? come back?
- Your dog could sit quickly, with enthusiasm and commitment.
- Or they could sit slowly, reluctantly, avoiding your gaze and sigh while they do it!
I mean, how do you think your dog feels when you ask them to do something?
Has your dog learned from past experience that it’s worth listening to you, that it’s almost always a good idea to try and figure out what you want, and they usually benefit from it?
Or has your dog accidentally learned that “come here” means the lead is going on and your fun stops? If you ask your dog to move out of the kitchen, it’s generally because there’s something worth stealing on the kitchen surface, and they probably won’t get a reward for moving?
Dog training (and training in general) has long been plagued with the idea that “they should do it because I said so”. Which often has undertones of what might happen if they (dog or person) didn’t do as they were told.
I believe that we are motivated to “do as we are told” either because we know it’s likely to benefit us OR because we are too worried to argue/disobey.
I believe that respect is earned, and that relationships are built in stages.
And I want to earn the trust of my canine companions, rather than see them grudging show obedience.
- By giving my dogs choices, and respecting their decisions wherever possible
- By noticing when my dogs do choose to respond to my requests or make great choices on their own, and making a point of rewarding them
- By making sure that it pays off for my dog when they behave in ways that matter to me
How does your dog feel when you ask* them to do something?
*For that matter, do you actually ask your dog to do things? Because that means your dog could say no, and you would accept that choice. Or are you really telling them they have no choice but to comply? Our dogs are smart, they can tell the difference from the tone of our voice, our facial expression and our gestures.
The inspiration for this blog came in part from a festival I attended on Saturday 30th November. This was declared as the Day of Consent by a rather amazing person (Jenny Wilson) who won arts council funding to create a whole day of workshops and performances. There was so much to learn and think about, and I expect there will be a whole series of blogs coming out very soon as I translate the ideas into our human : canine relationships. (Find out more here: http://consentculture.co.uk/)
I hope you're enjoying the crisp frosty evening walks as much as we are!
Morag and the beasties
What’s going on in WCC Land?
Sat 14th December
09:30 Gundog Games with Clare (2 spaces)
13:30 Herding Dog Games with Morag (1 space)
Sun 15th December
Xmas Canine Crafting afternoon – reserve your space here: https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=13187434&appointmentType=12255169
Early bird bookings for 2020 OPEN NOW
Weekly classes are moving to Wednesday evenings from 15th January 2020
- APDT Good Companion classes at 18:30 Book Here
- Relaxation & Bodywork classes at 19:30 Book Here
Workshops & Activities
Gundog Games workshops with Clare will run monthly AND you can buy three workshops at a discounted rate, so long as you use them within 6 months
Social Skills for Dogs That Struggle are running in smaller groups, more often! See all your options for January, there's at least four sessions per month now: Book Here
Parkour really is the activity for all occasions and we have an introductory session in January plus a brand new Parkour Challenge in the Wild workshop in February
- Parkour Fundamentals: https://app.acuityscheduling.
com/schedule.php?owner= 13187434&appointmentType= 12264254
- Parkour Skills: Outdoor Adventure: https://app.acuityscheduling.
com/schedule.php?owner= 13187434&appointmentType= 12264316
Multi-dog harmony was a popular request last year so we’re offering a webinar in January to introduce the core skills, AND a practical workshop in February to put it into practice. BOOKINGS OPENING SOON!
There are fewer places on most workshops so you can get more focused, individualised help!