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07 February 2022
Time and time again I get calls from people who are so intent that they "understand their dogs" and cant comprehend why they are dealing with the problems they are experiencing. I then will ask if the dog has had any training, and it never fails..."yes, we had them in petsmart/petco/clicker classes. That is all I need to know! Ok, here's the deal: Operant conditioning and training(A.K.A. clicker/positive reward training) is a wonderful teaching tool and is a useful tool we can use when training our dogs. However, just as a carpenter doesn't come to work with just a screwdriver, we as trainers and handlers must come equipped with a "full tool box" as well.
Don't get me wrong, I think any dog can stand to benefit from any type of training, it is just that dogs with a more complex personality who see the world as if everything is there's when they want it, including food, (this is about 99% of my clients!). Dogs with this personality type are expecting a treat, so basically you are "rewarding" a dog who sees the world through these eyes for a desired physical response(ie: Sit) but in their mind, they only see that you are allowing them to snatch food from you, which by instinct, they would never due to real dog who was a leader they respected. So basically, the dog feels it is being rewarded for a dominant behavior. how much is Dog Training at PetSmart is where it gets tricky... Because the act of taking a treat from our hand is innocent by nature to us as humans, plus we think we are rewarding the dog for listening to our commands, when all the dog sees is you are encouraging a behavior that would never slide in the dog world.
Now this doesn't mean treats are off limits for any dog, and some dogs even benefit from this training tool. But we must see it as a tool that compliments a deeper understanding of the nature of dogs. Especially dogs with higher training requirements.
OK, so what do we use then to get our dogs to respect us and stop the problem behaviors? Three words: Energy of Understanding What is this? Energy of Understanding is a sixth sense energy that all living things communicate by. You ever get a feeling about something? Your "gut instinct"? That is sixth sense energy. Most animals use this first and foremost when communicating with one another and with other species as well. (How else does the cat know when the dog is about to chase them before the dog even bats an eye?) So, dogs constantly receiving our signals, good bad or indifferent. They in turn, are sending us signals back. Which if read correctly, can be the most powerful training tool you can use when communicating with your dog. Unfortunately, most humans are not in touch with this energy, or at least not when it comes to projecting it towards their dogs. This is what I teach people, because techniques, tools, or methods only go so far. We must put our "leader energy" into the environment to effectively communicate with our dogs that we have things figured out better than them and they can relax, knowing that we are in charge. Once our dogs believe in our energy, the problem behaviors associated with too much responsibility goes away and our dogs are content and receptive to you, no matter what method you use.
Read More: https://puppytrainingclasses.my.id/puppy-training-petsmart-everything-you-should-know-about-it/