First of all, I’m neither a guru, nor a magician. I’m just someone who learned some things about dogs during the years with mine and others, talked to ethologists several times and know a little about behavior and biology.
I’m not the one who waves a magic band, murmur some abracadabra and whoosh! a miracle occurs. No. It is YOU, who will let the miracle happen, not me.
But for that you will have to work. A lot.
I will talk hours about behavior, urge and motivation, about how a predator – your dog – works. I will help you understand him, dehumanize him and put him where he belongs, find his correct place in your family what everybody can be satisfied with. I will teach you techniques and methods to train him, calm him or the opposite – prepare him for an activity. But I will also give you some homework, tasks to be practiced every day, rules to comply.
Dogs learn by consistency and practice. If you can not grant it, nothing will change.
Are you ready?
During training the dog always asks: why is this good for me? Why should I do this? (Just as a human would do.) Many owners’ answer is: because you’re a dog and I’m a human, so I’m superior, you have to obey. Dog: OK, then catch me if you can, I’m gone sniffin’ / playin’ / fetchin’ some butterflies!
Wouldn’t you do the same?
I try to achieve a win-win situation both to you and your dog. You’ll always offer something in exchange for obedience: food, play tugging, social reinforcement (i.e. your love). This way she’ll learn extra quick to behave.
My method is not one particular one but rather a collection of so-called positive methods. I don’t think positive reinforcement may exist without some scolding or punishment, but I try to reduce the latter. Actually I like to use negative punishment, it’s not harsh at all despite how it sounds. It simply means the dog will not get something good unless he behaves, e.g. if he chews on my hand during a game I will stop playing with him entirely. You cannot imagine how fast this works!
One lesson lasts 1 hour.
In this hour we’ll talk about your goals, your dog’s behavior problems, your everyday life together. We’ll practice how to make your doggie come, sit, lie down, stay, heel, etc. Even some cute tricks or basic agility, obedience, or any other dog sport if you want.
I’ll always give you homework, because – I suppose you know – there’s no miracle can happen in one hour. I’ll show you how to practice at home, what difficulties you may face and how to solve them. I’ll be there to help but the success is up on how dedicated you are!
I will never give an impossible amount of work to do at home, but it’s mandatory to practice every day. Don’t think you have to torture your dog – and yourself – for hours, the less is more in this case: 5-10 minutes twice a day is more than enough for a start.
But I will always ask how it went – and don’t think I will not see your laziness on your dog…