Choosing a different approach to dog training can be difficult and a little scary. Especially if you have never done it that way before. When things seem to break down 7 years into your training it can be soul shaking. That’s when it’s all on the line and you have to trust that you made the right choices.
Most of us have had that feeling of relief at encountering something familiar when we are in a new situation. We shouldn’t be surprised that our dogs can feel that same sense of relief if we present them with something familiar when they are uncomfortable. Do you know what your dog has good feelings about? Do you know what comforts them? You can use that to help them learn and cope with difficult situations!
Between all of the criteria and learning theory and Operant Conditioning and Clickers and reinforcement rates, do science-based trainers have enough time to actually love their dogs too? The answer is probably more and less complicated that you might think. Science can be far from cold. It has sparked great passions in humans for hundreds of years.
Whose dog training methodology do you follow? Are you a “Pack Leader”? A “Clicker Trainer”? Or one of a dozen other “tribes” in dog training? Our best source of information about dogs and training is – our dog. Maybe we should learn about them and what they respond to best instead of following the popular trends.
While the religions and philosophies of the Far East do not teach dog training specifically, there may be much wisdom to be found there for dog trainers. Sometimes the simplest things are the most difficult to master. A clear mind and clear intentions can help.
While debates rage on whether or not using positive training with your dog is a good idea or not, those of us who use it every day are enjoying what it brings to our lives. Dog training is not all about serious obedience and performance, after all!