I'm going to let you in on a little secret, because you are so nice to check out our site. Dog training does not start with commands like “Sit!” and “No!”. Whenever I am faced with a situation where a dog "misbehaves", I always ask a simple question from the owner:
"Have you fulfilled your dog's need today?"
Most often than not, the response is raised eyebrows, and then "What do you mean? We love him to bits..."
Compared to a human, a dog is a surprisingly simple, and unselfish animal. All a dog wants are security, guidance and a stabile pack. Humans want to have a dog because we have a need for love, companionship, admiration, we want someone to greet us when we come home to an empty house, something to guard our home, join us on our morning walks, play with the kids so they leave us alone... and a dozen other reason.
So when people want to know “How should I train my dog so he fulfils my needs for...?” whatever it is we want, it is fair to ask the question: And what about the dog’s needs?
To quote our beloved vet, Dr. Olivier Ghesquiere: "If we call them our best friends, we must give them back what we ask from them. It's the basis of friendship."
If you were asked to name your responsibilities as a dog owner, how many of those could you list in a heartbeat - apart from feeding and walking?
You can take a second and think about it - would you be able to recall at least six points?
Before we address a dog's behaviour, and why he has not enough respect for his master, we need to make sure that the "master" actually KNOWS what is expected from him. Therefore, on our Dog101 Crash Course, we give our students the Daily Doggy Checklist, which they can stick on the wall as a reminder, how to keep our dogs happy and healthy.
(Wouldn't it be nice to have such a checklist for our spouse and kids too?...)
At the end of the day, we all want to be fab dog owners. Let us remember that apart from cuddle and kisses, there are a few more things dogs need to feel that we do care for them.
And if some day you will have missed one or two - don't be too hard on yourself. You can always do better tomorrow.
Remember, we are not here for perfection. We are here for progress.
The team of DogTraining4Humans